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Kenyan deputy president Ruto getting medical treatment abroad? No, four-year-old photo from Kwale county

“Breaking: William Samoei Ruto out of the country for his usual blood transfusion,” reads a message posted on Facebook in Kenya on 20 November 2020. “Despite this being a risky affair and took the life of former vice president Michael Kijana Wamalwa, Ruto prefers this to taking pills to boost his deteriorating health.”

Ruto is Kenya’s deputy president. The post includes a photo of a woman in a nurse’s uniform seeming to perform a procedure on Ruto, while four men look on.

Data from CrowdTangle, Facebook’s public insights tool, reveals that the post has been shared at least 13 times on different groups.

The photo has been posted elsewhere on Facebook, with the similar claim that it’s evidence that Ruto was “flown out of the country for medical reasons secretly”.

Ruto reportedly returned from a four-day business and family trip to Dubai on 21 November. But does the photo show him recently undergoing a medical procedure abroad?


Photo taken in 2016

A sign that the photo may be false evidence of the claim is that Ruto posted photos and videos of himself enjoying a visit to a Dubai restaurant.

And a reverse image search reveals that the photo is four years old. It was taken on 19 August 2016 shortly after Ruto opened Lunga Lunga sub-county hospital in the Lunga Lunga constituency of Kwale county.

“Opened Lunga Lunga sub-county hospital and became a beneficiary of treatment after a bout of flu. I am grateful to Rhoda Pola who attended to me in Lunga Lunga Constituency, Kwale County,” he posted on Facebook.

The photo is one in a series of 20 images he posted that day. – Dancan Bwire


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