In loving memory of JMM
JMM was born on February 5th, 2000. She died in June 2018 at only 18 years of age.
At the time of her death, she was a secondary school student at a school in Nayaribari Chache Constituency.
But who was JMM?
Well, JMM was a bubbly young girl full of life and looking forward to a bright future. In 2014, she was raped by an older man and become pregnant. She did not tell anyone at home about the incident nor the pregnancy.
She only told her roommate at school who, in turn, introduced her to a ‘doctor’ who could help her terminate her pregnancy. The ‘doctor’ had a pharmacy at Ibeno Trading Center where the procedure was carried out. This procedure entailed injecting something into JMM’s thigh. She was then advised to go home as the fetus would come out the next day. The procedure cost Ksh. 1,500.
The fetus did not come out the next day.
JMM went back to the pharmacy and the ‘doctor’ inserted a metal-like object into her vagina. The ‘doctor’ then told her to go home and wait for the fetus to come out the same evening.
When evening came, JMM experienced heavy bleeding, severe stomach pains, and vomiting.
The fetus did not come out that evening too.
Once again, she did not tell her family what was happening for fear of punishment and/or being blamed for what was happening to her. She just told them she was having a headache.
JMM reveals the truth
The family came to know that JMM was not feeling well through her elder sister’s mother-in-law. PKM, JMM’s mother had been called by the said mother-in-law and informed of JMM’s condition. It was only when she was taken to a local dispensary that she revealed that she had procured an abortion.
Unfortunately, the dispensary did not have the resources, including skilled medical staff, to assist JMM. She was, thus, referred to the Kisii Teaching and Referral Hospital. It was here that it was confirmed that JMM had indeed undergone an unsafe abortion.
The fetus was removed.
She needed dialysis too.
JMM’s kidneys had started to fail due to heavy bleeding. The Kisii Level 5 Hospital did not have dialysis services thus she was referred to Tenwek Mission Hospital. At the time of admission, JMM could not speak. Fortunately, she was able to speak after receiving treatment for three days.
Tenwek Mission Hospital did not have dialysis services thus her mother took her to Kenyatta National Hospital on the 19th December 2014. At KNH the diagnosis was that she had a septic abortion and hemorrhagic shock and this caused chronic kidney disease. She was to visit the renal unit of KNH.
She was discharged about two months later.
JMM’s troubles not over yet…
JMM’s mother, PKM was not able to pay the hospital bill whose total was Ksh. 39,500. As is the case with most patients, who can’t pay their hospital bills, JMM was detained. During this time, she slept on a thin mattress on the floor.
She fell sick during her detention and was returned to the hospital’s main ward. She was treated and returned to the detention room. She was here for two weeks. Her hospital bill was waived and she was released on March 13th, 2015.
PKM was advised that JMM should receive dialysis every month at a whooping Ksh. 50,000. PKM could not afford that at the time. This is every parent’s nightmare!
She died in June of 2018 from complications of kidney disease. The kidney disease had been caused by unsafe abortion.
A legal battle ensued
PKM’s mother, FIDA Kenya, Center for Reproductive Rights, and 3 others a Constitutional Petition before the High Court.
Click here to learn more about the legal battle that followed her death, the victory, and what changes came about.
Source: Kenya Law