Gatundu octogenarian offers body for human anatomy as a ‘thankyou’
As an act of selflessness, a man from Gatundu South constituency in Kiambu County has offered his body to be used for human anatomy by medical training students.
John Kihiu Nduku, 86, has in that effect written his will detailing his desire to have Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology medical students trained using his body organs for expert experience.
According to Kihiu, he decided to offer his body after doctors at Gatundu Level Five Hospital operated on his body and successfully detected that he has been suffering from Asthma.
After languishing in pain since 1990 with Asthma, Kihiu came to know what he was ailing from after several scans at the Gatundu Hospital.
He said that he was admitted at the hospital in February this year while in absolute unconsciousness and a team of doctors who were attending to him selflessly helped him regain consciousness.
As a way of saying thankyou to the medical staff and recognize the job that is executed by medical personnel across the country, the father of three said he willingly decided to aid more aspiring medical staff study using his body organs for specialized knowledge.
“Upon my demise, I declare that my body should not be buried as the same should be used for Human Anatomy by Jomo Kenyatta University students. It should be used by students and physicians in the study,” reads a section of his will dated 5th August 2019.
He explained that student doctors in the country would benefit from his cadaver during their laboratory training sessions.
Speaking at his shanty home in Githaruru village, the octogenarian revealed that he has since informed the government through Gatundu Deputy County Commissioner in writing.
He has also served a copy of his will to JKUAT management for action upon his death. The old man said that after his demise, a funeral service should be conducted as usual by the PCEA church but his body should not be buried as the same shall be handed over to the said university.
In his will, Kihiu wishes to be survived by his wife Mary Njeri Kihiu, his daughter Teresia Nyambura, his sons Njoroge Kihiu and Karanu Kihiu.
Kihu noted that he declared his will voluntarily when in good state of mind and health adding that his will represent his true wishes as to how his body should be disposed in case of his demise.
He said that any individual who will act contrary to his wishes would receive an automatic curse as this will distort his resolve.According to Njeri, his wife, the declaration came as a surprise but he had no option but to agree.
Njeri said she is ready to execute all the wishes as this will come a long way in helping improve services in many hospitals across the country.Unlike in the west where it is prestigious to donate dead bodies for human research, very few Kenya families entertain such ideas leaving the phenomenon as a rare thing.
Legally, only institutions of anatomy have the permission, under Anatomy Act Cap 249 to procure dead bodies for studies.
In section 6(1)(b) of the Act, the Minister of Health may, in writing, grant authority to the Director of Medical Services, in respect of any hospital, or medical officer concerned with any public institution wholly or partly maintained by public funds, to authorize the body of any person who dies to be examined anatomically in an approved school of anatomy.