Former Nairobi governor Mike Sonko has been facing pressure following his offer to help Baby Sagini whose eyes were gouged out in Marani, Kisii county, secure an eye transplant in China with many politicians dismissing it as a mere PR stunt.
Sonko, however, in a social media post on Sunday, December 25, dismissed the claims and attributed the accusations to bad politics saying he does not need any spotlight during this time.
“Those trying to politicize the issue of Baby Sagini should watch this video to the end and learn something. I normally don’t do PR when helping people. I have done it successfully many times. So tuwache siasa mbaya mimi sitaki kiti yoyote Kisii na hakuna campaign zinaendelea kwa sasa. Merry Christmas,” he wrote.
Sonko at the same time claimed he has twice tried to reach the 3-year-old boy unsuccessfully. He said the boy has also missed two important doctor appointments.
He firmly stated that regardless, bad politics will not stop him from getting Sagini the help he direly needs.
“Merry Christmas to Baby Sagini and his 7yrs old sis Shantel. Despite my efforts to help I have not had access to them due to bad politics being played around by some dirty-minded politicians who think I’m in this case for PR and political mileage purposes but that won’t stop me from pursuing the matter I’m sending their small Christmas gifts through a good Samaritan who is also helping on the ground Esnahs Nyaramba.
“Last week Baby Sagini missed two important appointments with Dr Kishor at the Westlands laser eye hospital coz we wanted the baby’s review report to be emailed to China so that we can start the process of flying him there for the implant of artificial eyes. Politicising the issue and denying me access to him and his sister will not stop me from helping,” Sonko wrote.
Sonko had promised to sponsor the minor access specialised treatment abroad.
In a statement on Monday, December 19, said he had identified a hospital in Shenzhen southeastern China which specialises in eye implants that could handle Junior Sagini’s case.
Information available online shows that the facility identified as Dennis Lam Eye Hospital has been conducting successful eye implants for a while.
Sonko said he had contacted the hospital and briefed doctors about Baby Sagini’s case.
According to the former county chief, the hospital advised him to get a referral from at least two Kenyan hospitals before booking an appointment with the facility.
Sonko confirmed that efforts are ongoing to get the boy to Nairobi for review and recommendation from local ophthalmologists and eye specialists before being allowed to travel to China for the operation.
“I have this afternoon conducted thorough research on which is the best hospital that can at least attend to Baby Sagini’s emergency case and found there’s a hospital in Shenzhen, South China, called Dennis Lam Eye Hospital which does eye implants,” Sonko said adding that he was in talks with leaders from the Kisii region over his plans.
“However, after contacting the hospital we were advised Baby Sagini must have a referral from at least two Kenyan hospitals. We went ahead and booked an appointment for him to be reviewed at the Westlands Laser Eye Hospital 0703112233 on Wednesday 21/12/2022 where Doctor Kishor will attend to him,” he added.
He said he had also engaged the Nairobi County Government to recommend eye specialists from Mbagathi Hospital to do a separate review of Baby Sagini.
“Thereafter [we will] forward the two reports to China after which we shall team up and coordinate with leaders from Kisii and fly him to C-MER (Shenzhen) Dennis Lam Eye Hospital in South China for implants,” he added.
Sonko disclosed that the implants come with navigation sensors which would help the boy get around on his own in familiar places, but unfortunately won’t restore his vision.
“The implants are a precursor to fitting the boy with prosthetic eyes that will look and move more like normal eyes, but do not restore vision,” he added.