My enthusiasm for all things Kenyan originates from my having been granted my Kenyan citizenship soon after independence and I thus find myself being one of the ‘oldest’ Kenyan cits around. Having spent 37 years of my life as a British citizen and 46 years as a Kenyan citizen, I find myself well placed to compare the advantages and disadvantages of both countries.
To conclude my last blog in this vein, I have tried hard to generate interest in a proposition, which would be of tremendous value to Kenya and to the world. As I said in my last blog, Kenyans respect the aged. There is also an unending stream of school-leavers in Kenya who face a future in this country with few job opportunities who could make a career of caring for the aged and retired of the developed world. I am thinking about are those who are E.M.I. – the Elderly, Mentally Impaired of the developed world. I suspect my nomenclature (EMI) might be politically incorrect but I can think of no kinder way of referring to the 10% of the retired people in the developed world who find themselves in a special care home for the mentally sick. These patients suffer from such senile dementia diseases as Alzheimer’s, which require a medically trained person to care for them, 24-7, on a one on one ratio.
In the UK, for example, the number of people retiring in this category is increasing by around one million per year. The number of qualified EMI care nurses required to care for also has to increase at the same rate. Why not tap the potential of East African school-leavers with their culture of respect for the elderly and bring the EMI of the developed world to Africa to be cared for. Consider my friend’s daughter, Mumbi, who wants to become a doctor when she finishes school.
If the EMIs of the developed world were brought to care homes in Kenya, keeping warm would no longer be an expense and other living costs would be equal to or less than in the developed world. For the elderly who did not wish to leave their Northern climes for a place in the sun then Kenya could send her trained EMI nurses to Europe.
If Kenya had such care homes, East African students wanting a career in this field could gain experience working in these homes and Kenya could become a training centre for EMI professionals.
For very little expense Kenya could become the EMI centre of the world to cater for the ever-increasing EMI demands of the developed world. The world’s elderly could come to Kenya for their retirement home industry, just as patients from many countries flock to India for their surgery requirements.
There, now I have got that off my chest you can look forward to blogs more appropriate for Old Africa from me next time when I describe my foray into the entertainment world with two somewhat less than successful events. One was part of Kenya’s independence celebrations and on another occasion seventy spectators had the most memorable evening of their lives – for all the wrong reasons!