Forum for Understanding: Science (Discussion about medicine and culture)




НазваниеForum for Understanding: Science (Discussion about medicine and culture)
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Дата конвертации30.10.2012
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<&/>cut in recording

<$A> When <-/>when you are at Muthaiga you are you are pupils at Muthaiga Primary School?

<$A> yes yes this is Muthaiga Primary School

<$B> yes

<$A> yes because I pass through it every morning You should know that yes uh <&/>laughter because I give lifts to some of you every morning So you must know <-/>know that uh your teachers will of course tell you what it entails to be this and that And then also through programmes of this nature you are also being told some of these uh uh things and uh then there's also careers uh masters who are in <-/>in upper well secondary schools where you have careers masters who will explain to you exactly what you should do if you want to become a doctor or surveyor or engineer all right

<$B> You had a very interesting question related to the character of a person who wants to be a lawyer What was the question

<$D> Yes uh what character should you be Should you be a specific character to be a lawyer

<$A> No It's not really a specific character to be lawyer but let me say that uh after you go and study at the university and you get your degree which is a LLB a Bachelor of Laws you will then that is after uh three years at the university you will then proceed to a Kenyan School of Law where you will be for twelve months and at the same time you'll be attached to a firm of lawyers will learn office practice and what lawyers do and then that's when you petition to become an advocate of the High Court Now uh to become an advocate of the High Court so that you can appear in law courts is not just any lawyer but it your character will have to be considered We want a person who is morally upright You see you can't uh law uh as they call themselves their learned friends and they want the legal profession to be special So that's why they ensure that as a lawyer you must be upright in your manners you must know how to dress uh as a lady <&/>laughter yes and a lawyer that's why they always insist on being smart uh So because being learned and since you are going to be determining other people's issues obviously you must be above reproach because I can't see how you can say that well let <-/>let me hear your dispute when your own life is disorganised you see So and all you are saying that you are going to determine disputes and uh you're calling yourself learned friend and you are dirty you don't uh you are not tidy uh you are you are drunkard they say uh that sort of thing uh you are rioting all over the place you don't sleep properly that's you see <&/>laughter you've got to be a man who is disciplined and that's why we must uh uh emphasise this word discipline and it is easy for you because in school now you are disciplined because you know when you are supposed to come in in the morning and the bell rings you must go to this classroom at the end of forty minutes or forty-five minutes you change class or another teacher comes in and you know lunchtime is at such and such a time Lunchbreak is one hour or two hours you come back So this you can see these rules are in school and therefore you will not find it difficult It's only when you come out and you think that uh we want you to continue being disciplined and you feel that well we are we others who are harassing you We are not harassing you young people We are trying to take care of your future

<$B> Yes so that means what you are going through in school now should be good training for those of you who want to be people of integrity and of standing in the law profession So it is something that you should take seriously from your teachers Yes do you have a question

<$D> Your Majesty Why doesn't

<$A> No no I'm not a judge

<$B> Your Lordship

<$D> Your Lordship

<$A> Yes

<$D> Why does a judge postpone a case to another day

<$A> Why

<$D> Why does a judge postpone a case to another day

<$A> Yes because a judge is a human being cannot work throughout the night <&/>laughter Now the position is this young man uh you see when you are hearing a case and uh witness keep uh are still being called at the end of the day you'll adjourn that case either the following day but you know if it is Saturday you cannot adjourn to Saturday you have to adjourn to Monday or some other day So it 's just because the uh the day has ended just like you in <-/>in school After your last lesson you must go home isn't it The teacher does not keep you in school

<$B> yeah

<$A> So after games you must now go away isn't it yeah unless it's a boarding school so Muthaiga of course is not a boarding so <&/>laughter at the end of the day you must go home so also a judge at the end of the day when he has been hearing a case he must adjourn it to another day But I think you want all you want to complain that a case comes and a judge does not even hear a single witness and he say that it is he has adjourned it to another day There must uh when there is a good reason uh for example a witness did not come or the <-/>the lawyers involved have agreed that it should be put off for another day or there is a uh another serious case going on in which one of the lawyers in this particular case is involved then they adjourn for another day But I must tell you that there are so many cases pending in our courts in Magistrates Court in High Court in the Court of Appeal and so the judges cannot finish all the cases in a day

<$B> Yes so uh we have noted reports of this the other element of people thinking that uh probably a lawyer's job is very easy that you just sit up there and listen to this side and the other side Then you bang the gavel when you are tired and you <./>re retire to the back and then come back and say oh this is for you and this is for you So maybe just tell them also emphasise upon them that probably the job is not as easy as it looks

<$A> Now we see those of you now who'll uh I will explain how you <-/>you qualify in order to go to university You have to study there for three years for your degree law and then you go to Kenya School of Law for twelve months then you become an advocate of the High Court then now it comes to question of employment I think we want to go that way

<$B> yes

<$A> Now after that what else would you do Not all lawyers can be judges because for example the in the country the <-/>the law provides that the uh the <-/>the the constitution and the judicature act that those are the rules that uh all the laws that uh guide the government in appointing judges The High Court judges are supposed to be only thirty-two So when the <./>parl our parliament uh amends that to make it thirty-five or forty It used to be in fact nine I remember in the old days it used to be only nine only nine judges they changed to eleven they amended to fourteen they amended to seventeen to twenty-one to twenty-four Now it has been amended up to <-/>to thirty-two Now but you cannot you should not expect from school to become a judge straight that would be strange <&/>laughter because uh you must be a person who has uh lived among the people you know the problems of families and that sort of thing see that you are a mature person so when as a lawyer when you have qualified you can either become uh be employed the government as a state council You know that is government advocates working there in the <./>cham chambers You'll be appearing on the behalf of the government either in the criminal cases when you are prosecuting or in civil cases when the government is a party to a suit That's one part Then you can also be employed in the local authorities like the Nairobi city commission You can become a town-clerk or you can work in the town-clerk's department as one of the lawyers because there is a lot of legal work going on there You can also work in the insurance companies You can also work in the banks You can also work in the co-operative movement because all these areas there are laws to be interpreted and they require a legal mind So it is not a question of just thinking of becoming an advocate and appearing in court There are so many lawyers who have never gone to court and they are doing very well

<$B> Yes I think most of the students thought that probably when you finish you all end up being lawyers going to court to argue cases but that as you've just heard there are so many other areas that you can go into and still practise your law uh Let's get one of the gentlemen here

<$E> You talked about lawyers being disciplined morally upright but about some cases they have lawyers demanding high sums of money Is there a maximum amount you can charge a client

<$A> Yes in fact when it comes to charging of fees uh we have uh the Advocates Remuneration rules These are the rules that govern how much an advocate will charge in a particular case Uh one interesting point which I hum must uh state here is that uh these rules indicate how the minimum that the advocate will charge It does not indicate the maximum So that's why <&/>laughter the advocates are pro- uh uh are asking for a lot of money But it depends now if you are a very well-known advocate you've built up uh a practice uh and you've got a good reputation then you'll have to charge high because you'll or you can select which cases to take You may not accept to go and deal with smaller cases in smaller courts So you will say that I'll practise only in the High Court and the Court of Appeal So if you're prepared to come and consult me and I appear for you then you have to be prepared to pay my fee which will be a little bit high But if you are new having come from uh university and you're just starting a practice you must be prepared to charge less so that uh little that comes your way you take it <&/>laughter

<$B> Yes uh that gentleman up at the back there

<$F> My question is you have you have talked a lot about law what <-/>what function what role do lawyers play in the law amendment for example doing away with a certain law

<$A> Well the <-/>the role that lawyers play in the in the amendment of the laws in this country is that uh they may suggest amendments uh now as uh presenter introduced me here I am chairman of the Kenyan Law Commission which is a commission charged with reviewing all our laws in this country and recommending uh reforms amendments repealing of this act uh of legislation which should uh not be in our statute book So all lawyers in this country are enjoined to contact me or write to me and suggest amendments and they have been doing this and even you uh as uh students you are quite entitled to write to me or come and see me and tell me that this <-/>this law is not uh is no good and then we I shall consider it yes

<$?> yeah

<$A> but you should not come and tell me that uh the the rules that uh govern your schools are no good <&/>laughter There must be rules in schools and we must keep to them but if you know of any law which you think should be amended You are <./>comp you are quite free to come and tell me

<$B> Maybe for <-/>for the younger listeners here you would care to elaborate what an amendment is

<$A> Yeah an amendment is simply a change in the current present law For example if you say that uh if a law says that to go to a <./>cit to a city council school a child must be eight years old If we change to eight years and you say that to go to city council school the child must be six years old we have amended eight and made it six as an amendment

<$B> So it's a change to suit the changing times at that particular time

<$B> Yes anymore questions uh yes you

<$G> Yeah Your Lordship under what difficult grounds do lawyers stand when you consider that at times they defend criminals and they defend which they themselves will feel They know that they are not correct or not right

<$A> Now when a lawyer is defending an accused person and an accused person is not a criminal <&/>suppressed laughter He remains a suspect and an accused until the court has found him guilty Then he becomes a convicted person So when somebody comes to a lawyer and say that uh I've been charged with uh a criminal offence the lawyer asks him did you commit this offence or not The client will say I did not and then this man the client will give instruction to the lawyer what happened and the lawyer will take instructions and say okay I'll go to court and defend you So the lawyer will be acting on behalf of his client The lawyer will not have been party to what the client did In fact the lawyer doesn't know what the client did It is the prosecution which is to prove the case against this particular person beyond reasonable doubt So the standard is quite high in the criminal law and the lawyer will be defending his client relying on the information the client has given him So you cannot say that a lawyer is defending a criminal He doesn't know whether he is a criminal It is only uh after he has been proved guilty But the lawyer also there he is in court to assist the court because a lawyer or an advocate appearing in court is an officer of the court It he should not be he's uh he should not be so much concerned about acquittal that this his uh his client should be released but to present the case before the court so that a fair decision may be made by that court

<$B> Have there been any historical cases where probably the person has seemed to be guilty but then has gotten off because of having a very good lawyer who knew how to argue the case out

<$A> I don't think it's question of not or having a good lawyer or a bad lawyer Well a bad lawyer of course may ruin one's case but uh you find that uh the facts are presented before the court and the court will determine uh whether this particular person is guilty or not guilty So whether the lawyer is good or not uh he will only just participate in this uh process in helping the court reach a just position and all lawyers those of you who'll be lawyers must remember that when you appear in court you are appearing in court to assist the court to reach a fair decision At the end of the day it is justice which is uh should be emphasised and not who wins and or who loses

<$B> <&/>mumbles something

<$A> Justice should win at the end of the day regardless of which side of the case you have been

<$B> Thank you I think we can be here the whole evening arguing out this but uh we'd like to once again thank you very much Justice Emanuel O'Kubasu for finding the time off to come and talk to us in this programme I'm sure we've all you know enjoyed yourself in talking to him and we discovered so much more that uh we didn't know about the law as a profession and also as a career So uh with that viewers we've come to end of our programme today and until next time bye




S1B029K

<&_><$A> = Mr Tororei m, 43, Kalenjin, d

<$B> = Polycarp Ochillo, m, 48, Dholuo, d

<$C> = Dr Gakuru,f

<$D> = Mrs Judy Shirago, f

<$E> = Mrs Nyaga (educ) f,



<$A> at 60 metres or uh where a person's eye or uh angle uh of vision is twenty degrees or less in the better eye after correction Now uh there is emphasis here on after-correction meaning that after the medical uh after the person has received medical attention uh if the best eye because there are two eyes uh he uh with a person if the best eye can only see at three metres what an average eye can see at sixty metres or the angle the <-/>the vision at the widest angle is only twenty degrees or less then that person is called blind Before correction that person is not yet considered blind because there are many conditions uh that that might be causing that problem that could be corrected medically

<$B> The Kenyan definition you said is functional and with a view at your definition that you have given is that now the universal position adopted globally

<$A> Yes the Kenyan definition uh in <-/>in the legal setting is functional but in the medical uh setting according to the National Prevention of Blindness Committee which is our national uh organ that uh oversees our whole <-/>whole ophthalmic programme we have adopted the WHO medical definition

<$B> Doctor Gakuru any other additional point that may relate to the definition of blindness as a condition

<$C> Uh Mister Chairman none at all except the fact that uh apart from that we also have what we call partially sighted which is the range between the patients who see with an with the best eye an object at six metres what a normal person will see at sixty and to the level that Mister Tororei had mentioned those are the group that are called partially sighted So we have the blind and the partially sighted and then those with uh normal vision

<$B> Well could we now move to that causes of blindness condition Dr Gakuru What are the known causes of the problem?

<$C> Yes Mister Chairman here in Kenya the order of frequency of the causes of blindness are by far the most cataracts Cataracts means uh opacity of the lens that is the lens within the eye This contributes about thirty-nine percent of all cases who are blind Now uh in the second place is trachoma Trachoma is a chronic infection of the eyes both eyes This contributes about sixteen percent of all the cases of blindness in our country and in the third place is glaucoma which contributes about fourteen percent of all the blind cases Glaucoma means raised intra-ocular pressures something almost similar to hypertension that we know in general medicine

<$B> What would that mean in simple layman's language

<$C> It means that the pressures within the eye there is a normal range and we have norm we have operators who are checking the pressures of the eye Now if it is raised beyond the normal range then we term that condition as glaucoma In the fourth place are other causes and amongst these causes are the most common trauma Measles and what is termed as zerophthalmia which is caused by Vitamin A deficiency and others These contribute about thirty-one percent of all blind cases in our country This order is different in other nations What I've given you is the order in our nation

<$B> How about the distribution percent of the occurrence of the condition nation-wide and what will be the specific factors attributed to those situations

<$C> Now the first cause is generalised within the whole country It's the same all over The second cause trachoma is found uh almost predominantly in the districts of Baringo Kajiado Narok and then sporadically in a few other areas Now the main denominator in these areas is that these are dry and dusty areas and the level of hygiene is very low so that the transmitter which are flies have the <-/>the media to uh and the appropriate conditions through which they can transmit the bacteria from one person to the other because of poor hygiene

<$B> Yes Are there things this would be open to any member of the panel that uh we would do as a family as a parent very early in early stage to identify uh the problems that may be affecting a child so that quickly Tororei would know that uh he has problems and needs attention

<$A> Uh my reaction to that is yes there is If we see as a community or one of our friends having an abnormal eye in other words having like a red eye or a watery eye or a <-/>a doctor would have medical terms for them if we send that person without delay to the nearest dispensary and this uh the <-/>the health workers at that dispensary will in turn send that person to the eye specialist in our country our front-line workers uh professional eye workers are ophthalmic clinical officers and they are found in nearly all the districts in this country Now if a clinical officer cannot deal with that case then he will refer the cases to uh eye-surgeons and eye-surgeons are found in nearly all our provincial hospitals and a few major district hospitals and if in turn the condition is such that the eye the eye-surgeon uh in <-/>in those centres cannot deal with then they would refer these to Kenyatta National Hospital for very advanced medical uh diagnosis and treatment So yes there is something we can do and the best thing to do is if you suspect your friend has an eye condition send him to the nearest dispensary and that way he'll get into our referral system

<$B> Judy up to that level we have reached uh stages where we start to deal with the problem we are starting to manage blindness as a the condition and I'm interested at this level to see how the Kenya Society for the Blind comes in <-/>in relation to your role as the assistant director

<$D> One of the biggest challenges uh Kenya Society for the Blind is first thing in the nineteen nineties is to change the attitude and the attitudes of whom the attitudes of both the blind people and the sighted people In the past or even up to now we all know what stigma has been put on handicapped uh people And so how are we going to do this We hope to do this by creating awareness and through creating this awareness sending out positive messages we hope uh to change the attitude and in the process uh the blind people and the society are able to identify their problems and be helped

<$B> What kind of uh specific channels that your society is using to create this desired awareness

<$D> Uh there are many channels One of them is like this one where we are now I hope whoever is viewing is uh getting a message uh One of the other one is through the media messages through the newspaper messages through uh the TV the radio but that is just to the air people who have those facilities We hope to go further than that get into the rural areas physically uh talk to people and create this awareness We also hope to recruit people to be very close to us so that they can in turn do their job on our behalf because Kenya Society for the Blind programme we have just about a handful of people but once we've educated the public then they will carry out the job on our behalf We recruit them through membership
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