For 27-year-old Franklin Ochieng’, things started crumbling down when he got a job opportunity in Doha, Qatar, three months being laid off by his previous employer.
That was in December 2018 when the Mass Communication graduate who majored in Public Relations went for his medical checkup before he could fly to Doha.
“I was looking forward to starting my new job in Doha, but my medical results cut that dream short because I was diagnosed with Hepatitis B,” a tearful Ochieng’ narrates.
Ochieng’, who is the eldest child in a family of two siblings, lost his parents when he was still very young.
He was raised by relatives who however left him to fend for himself and his younger sister once he graduated from university.
He later landed a job as a Marketing and Communications Officer at Koinonia Community, where he worked between 2015 and 2018.
With his job he started paying his sister’s school fees. But then took a turn for the worse in September 2018 when he was laid off.
This turn of events forced his sister to drop out of college and relocate to their rural home, since Ochieng’ could not afford to live with her in Nairobi.
“I lost my job in September 2018. Since then I have been unable to pay for my sister’s fees at KMTC Kitui campus where was studying nursing. She was forced to drop out in her second year and started doing manual jobs. But her income wasn’t enough to pay her college fees,” Ochieng’ says.
Ochieng kept trying several manual jobs but he couldn’t work because without medication he was constantly collapsing while on it.
“Since then, it has been very difficult. I often take my medication without having a meal, surviving only on water,” he says.
According to Ochieng’, his dosage is very strong and makes him weak, especially if he takes it on an empty stomach.
“I have tried being a man by staying silent but that has only made things worse. The last time I went to Kenyatta National Hospital, I was referred to Lancet for Hepatitis B virus (HBV) load testing which I ignored following my fruitless efforts to fund raise,” he says.
His illness was diagnosed at Kenyatta National Hospital under file number COC 1458/19 with a single dose for HBV going for Sh17,000.
“I have so far missed 3 viral load tests which might be so bad for my health. The doctors have been unable to see the condition of my liver as well as the nature of the virus,” Ochieng’ says.
His appeal is to well-wishers to step in and help his sister raise her college fees at KMTC or offer him a Marketing and Public Relations job which he say would enable him to assist his sister as well as cater for his medication.