C.E.O’s Dairy- Defaulter Tracing
I get up at dawn… at times as early as 4 a.m. I prepare breakfast, after which I wash dishes. I like leaving all the dishes clean. It’s one of my responsibilities, to help mum with the household duties.
I live with my parents here, in olmeirroe it’s about 8km away from Kajiado town. It takes me close to 2 hours or so to walk from home to Kajiado town.
If I am to trace a defaulter or when am going out to trace a defaulter, I start off from home as early as 7am in the morning. Our people walk a lot and so do i. I know several short cuts. Some sections are full of thorns and long grass so I weave my way carefully.
Because of the great distances covered in our region through walking, many people ask for lifts, at times with success, at time without. At time I may come across a friend driving toward the direction I am going there I get a lift. Maili tisa matutas are picked at the matatus terminus within Kajiado town. These matatus take too long to fill up. Before it takes off, I use this time to engage or talk to the matatu operators about TB. I tell them the risk of skipping medication if one is infected and put on treatment. I encourage them to be tested and assure them that TB is curable. I’ve printed stickers that say the person sitting next to you might be having TB open your window that I ask to be put in the matatus. These matatus may take long as 30 mins or one hour to be filled. Most of them are 7 seaters but the seats for 3s end up with 4 people. There could be as many as 10 people inside this vehicle with the driver, 11. While travelling I keep in touch with my friends or even persons to help me get in touch with those I’m trying to trace. After I alight I get in touch with a family member or somebody who knows whoever I’m looking for.
A time I just go from here to there asking around. In most cases, I find kind-hearted people willing to help. One of the defaulters, john whom I had traced successfully almost 3 months ago has a cousin here in maili tisa. I simply call him Baba Jose. He knows quite a number of the persons on my list; I mean the families to one of such homes. The home of the one I am tracing is in the interior hence I am to take a boda boda. Baba Jose has one but he didn’t have it than. I was force to negotiate for a boda boda ride. These motorbikes are more expensive than matatus. I bargain a lot or it is argue? These boda bodas as they are called here may not provide helmet. At times they are ridden very fast. The wind makes tears stream down my cheeks the chap I am wearing helps with the wind. A ride on tarmac road is smooth though on a rough road, it is very rough as the road.
Boda bodas are convenient because getting to the interior of place may not be hard. Besides they don’t have to be filled like matatus. They can carry one person and that’s it. At time I find deserted homes. The defaulter I’m looking may not have a phone. This means I have to look for him another day I don’t give up since I know he’s a ricks to the community.
I am now boarding a matatu that is going to namanga from maili tisa. I have an appointment with Sophie, the nurse in charge of TB treatment at the namanga health center. This matatu may also take a while to fill up, or the driver may just decide to go that way, with some empty seats. At the health center patients may be very many; Sophie could be busy attending to them. I have to alert her that I’ve just arrived. So I have to wait for her. She informs me that john has defaulted gain. Here we are force to take drastic measure.
Sophie takes me to the ministry of public health in namanga. The public health officer links me up with the police .One police officer accompanies me to maili tisa to look for a john the defaulter who has skipped medicine the second time. John had been put on retreatment in August after I successfully traced him. He’s defaulted again, in September. Out of concern for him I have to look for him again his condition may grow worse. John is found at one of his drinking den right here in maili tisa.
He accompanies the police offer and I to a tax, we could not use a matatu because of his condition. We had to wear mask for the sack of our own protection. We head straight to the TB manyatta wards, where I hand him over to the heath officer here. The nurse gave john bottles which are used to collect sputum mostly in the morning before one has breakfast. The District Medical Officer of health, Dr. Ngere decides that this is a police case. He’s handed over to the police. It really hurts me. I didn’t think it would turn out this way. But I’m just trying to help. If he had kept to his medicine, it wouldn’t have reached this far. But what do I do? At the Kajiado police station, he’s to be locked up. But he might infect others since there is only one cell here. They do not have an isolation cell.
Shorty I learn that he’ll be remanded at the nearby prison and will be treated as an inmate. This hurts me further. The following day, he’s charged at the principal magistrate’s court in Kajiado. He’s in isolation due to his condition. In fact the court process is held outdoors. He is charged with an offence of willing spreading the diseases, he will be in prison for three month but can’t leave prison until a go ahead is given by the district medical officer of health that is his free from TB and that he’s not a threat to the public.
I made him understand if only he didn’t stop his medication this will not have happen to him. John gave me two bottles with sputum which I drop at the TB manyatta. Agnes the nurse at the TB manyatta made me understand that he’s to receive 56 injections even though he’s in the prison now. I know this will help.
I’m determined to continue visiting him to find out how he’s progressing. I wish he doesn’t skip his medicine again. I pity John.