Bishop Joseph Muchai of Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK) Nakuru Diocese tested positive for Covid-19 on March 24. He was admitted to Nakuru Specialist Hospital for one week. The bishop and his wife Mary Muchai, who is a Lay Canon, survived to tell the story.
“I panicked when I tested positive for Covid-19, I asked myself many questions including where I had contracted the virus. I decided to leave everything to God,” Bishop Muchai said.
He added: “God worked a miracle, we responded so well to treatment and the doctors were surprised by our quick recovery. We thank God for saving us from the jaws of death.”
“I experienced a lot of stigma while in hospital. Many people were asking where I had contracted the disease,” he told Nation.Africa.
“Before I contracted the deadly virus, I made sure all the faithful observed Covid-19 containment measures,” he added.
“I was stressed when some church members sent me text messages about members of my congregation who had succumbed to the virus,” he said.
Bishop Muchai said that he was shocked at the number of Covid-19 patients who died in the hospital.
“I don’t know why some people were sending distressful messages to me when I was equally in critical condition,” he said.
He felt abandoned by people who had been very close to him.
“Some of the so-called friends have never called me even after I was discharged from hospital,” he said.
He says that those he met after being discharged from hospital adjusted their face masks.
“Those who are not sick forget that the virus is still with us and they could also contract the disease,” he says.
He added: “By going public on my Covid-19 status, many of my colleagues have come out to speak about the disease. I thank God they have recovered. This is the best way to end the stigma.”
“Covid-19 has made me discover my true friends. I thank the head of ACK in Kenya Archbishop Jackson Ole Sapit for calling me daily to find out how I was recovering. Friends like retired Bishop Stephen Njihia and Mr George Kagima never abandoned me.
“I would not wish to see anybody going through such a painful experience. One day I would wake up feeling okay and the following day I would wake up feeling unwell. While in hospital, I was diagnosed with diabetes, I am now on medication,” he said.
He said that the church has lost many members to the virus. Some of them, he said, accrued medical bills amounting to more than Sh3.5 million which is a big burden to Christians.
He has appealed to the government to invest more in the health sector. He is grateful to his family office staff and Nakuru Specialist Hospital staff for their support.
He has urged Kenyans to observe Ministry of Health protocols by washing hands, wearing face masks and avoiding gatherings to keep Covid-19 at bay. He says his health insurance firm of nine years declined to pay his medical bills.