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Kenyans raise Sh5.5 million for rugby coach Ayimba’s treatment

Kenyans have raised more than Sh5 million towards the treatment of veteran rugby coach Benjamin Ayimba.

In a development that best highlights the plight of sportsmen and women in Kenya, Ayimba, a former Kenya rugby player and national team coach, is critically ill and unable to pay for his own treatment.

He’s been receiving treatment in and out of hospital since January and is currently admitted at the High Dependency Unit (HDU).

Last month, President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga contributed Sh1 million each to help the family offset the medical bill, which stood at Sh6.5 million as of Friday.

“The medical team is working hard to wean him out of HDU care as he improves and the attending doctor says he should be able to resume normal ward stay in a few days from now,” his family said.

“The medical team says that should he remain stable in the next couple of weeks, he can be discharged for home care. However, they also say that Benjamin will most certainly need specialized home care.”

During his career as a player, Ayimba captained both the Kenya 7s and 15s and represented the country at the Rugby Sevens World Cups in 2001 and 2005.

He is regarded as the most successful local Kenya 7s coach after guiding the national team to its first-ever World Sevens Series Cup title in 2016, thrashing Fiji 30-7 to win the Singapore 7s.

In 2009, he led the team to its first-ever World Series Cup Final in Adelaide, Australia but lost 26-7 to South Africa.

Ayimba was in June last year appointed technical director for the newly formed Kenya Rugby League (KRL).

The family has called on well-wishers to continue chipping in and help Ayimba to recover.