By COLLINS OMULO and AGGREY OMBOKI
Rashid Yusuf sits quietly on a bench outside the social worker’s office at Pumwani Maternity Hospital in Nairobi lost in thought.
Mr Yusuf was expecting good news when he brought his expectant wife Shamsia Ngina to the hospital on Monday night.
“When my wife began experiencing labour pains at our Majengo residence, I drove her to the hospital,” he says.
His wife was admitted at the facility. He returned home to wait for the good news which was not to be. Her labour process was a long, protracted affair that ultimately ended in tragedy.
“At around 2am, my relatives who were taking care of her told me she began to call for help,” the 51-year-old taxi driver says.
BABY WAS DEAD
Ms Shamsia survived, but her baby did not. By the time the doctor and nurses arrived at her bedside, some minutes past 3am, her baby was dead.
She was strangled by the umbilical cord which got wrapped around her neck and stopped her from breathing. Had the medical team arrived on time, she probably would have been saved, he says, teardrops cascading down his cheeks.
Mr Yusuf’s chilling account is just part of the challenges facing the maternity facility, one of the oldest in Kenya constructed in 1926. It is reeling under claims of mismanagement, under-staffing and low funding.
Inside the walls of the hospital are tales of agony, sufferings and misery that the staff and patients, who work and seek treatment at the facility respectively, go through.
At the new born unit, a single incubator is playing host to four babies instead of one. Inside the theatre room, there are only three machines where only two are working.
MOTHERS SHARE BED
The wards are no better. Expectant mothers have no beds forcing most of them to seek refuge on the cold floors as they battle labour pains. Those who are lucky to get a bed have to share them with at least four others.
The hospital has a total of 159 nurses, with the labour ward assigned seven nurses during the day and six at night, falling short of the World Health Organization’s requirement of at least 10 nurses per ward.
It is this workforce that is expected to deliver over 40 babies during the day and another 25 to 28 babies at night.
“At times, the post-natal clinic will be manned by just four nurses expected to attend to 90 patients, which is simply overwhelming for us,” a nurse told the Nation.
Consultant Dr Edmond Baraza says the hospital does not have a functional blood bank, forcing it to rely on deliveries from the Kenya National Blood Transfusion Service (KNBTS) in case expectant mothers have emergencies.
“We are not allowed to carry out replacement blood transfusion. If the blood in our coolers is out of stock, then we must call KNBTS for fresh supplies,” Dr Baraza said.
Nairobi County Health Chief Officer Mahat Jimale on Tuesday said that 11 deaths had been recorded at the hospital between Wednesday and Sunday last week. The hospital recorded 244 deliveries during the stated period.
Nursing officer Alvin Namisi said they work under tough conditions where nurses have at times been forced to use surgical blades to cut the babies’ cords during delivery, which he termed “dangerous”.
“People throw stones at us by accusing us of all manner of ills including baby theft, but forget that everything we do with regards to babies, including deaths, is documented,” he said.
He said the inefficiency in service delivery is caused by the backlog of cases awaiting emergency assistance.
At the same time, the Senate Committee on Health has said it will summon Governor Mike Sonko to ventilate on the status of health services in the county, which they termed as disappointing.
Senator Michael Mbito, chair of the committee, said that there is a serious management problem at the hospital, disclosing that every department they visited had a problem from shortage of staff, high child mortality and a dysfunctional incinerator.
Senator Johnson Sakaja termed the quality of healthcare as unsatisfying, saying Mr Sonko would be required to give an account about the usage of funds allocated to the city’s health kitty.
On her part, Senator Beatrice Kwamboka decried the rusty, ancient incinerator at the facility.
Singer speaks after attacking lover at WCB signee Zuchu’s star-studded concert
56 minutes ago
On 18 July, there was fanfare at the Mlimani City Hall in Dar es Salaam as WCB signee Zuchu held a thanksgiving concert months after her debut EP, I Am Zuchu. The event dubbed ‘Ahsante Nashukuru’ mainly featured performances by artistes from the WCB stable and attracted the whos-who in the Tanzanian entertainment and political scenes.
However, singer Gigy Money who also performed made the headlines for the wrong reasons after getting into a scuffle with her lover during the much-publicised concert.
READ ALSO: I was bewitched by a friend – Gigy Money
Peaceful arrival, later chaos
Moments earlier, Gigy and her Nigerian man were seen arriving arm in arm at the event whose highlight featured Zuchu receiving a brand new car from WCB head honcho Diamond Platnumz. Donning matching outfits, the couple was spotted on the red carpet as the paparazzi scrambled to capture the moment. However, all hell breaks loose later and viral videos depict the visibly angered Nigerian arguing with a bouncer at the entrance. After a tense confrontation, Gigy’s man is seen being led by the screaming bouncer towards the exit. Shortly after, a similarly irritated Gigy emerges and follows the pair.
“Gigy! Wewe Gigy wewe!” a woman in the background is heard dissuading the singer from pursuing them but the singer pays no heed and heads for the pair.
“You want to beat me?” the boyfriend is heard asking an approaching Gigy as the bouncer acts as a barrier between them. The bouncer manages to steer the incensed man towards the exit as Gigy follows behind, hurling obscenities.
At some point, a barefoot Gigy turns into a sprint before throwing one of her shoes which hits the man who then responds with an insult. Another bouncer finally intervenes and the two are separated. Gigy then asks for her vehicle so she can head home before warning the press against sharing videos of the incident.
Though the cause of their tiff is still unknown Gigy later made reference to the shocking incident in a social media post, hinting that alcohol had a part to play in the fracas. In another post, Gigy shared a photo alongside her estranged lover writing: “My mad man looked handsome before his demons arose and mine arose too.”
‘Running over Ali Kiba’
Gigy is not new controversy and recently said she’d run over her ex, singer Ali Kiba for breaking her heart.
“I will knock all of them down, I mean I will kill them. In fact, I will flatten them like chapatis. The first person I will knock down and kill is Ali Kiba. Actually, I don’t need a weak car, I need a Fuso so that when I knock him down I will be sure he doesn’t survive,” Gigy told Ayo TV.
Dating Kiba brothers
Gigy had in the past admitted to dating both Ali Kiba and his younger brother, Abdu Kiba. She solely laid the blame on Chekecha singer for pursuing her despite knowing that she’d been with his younger brother. Abdu expressed being heartbroken after learning the two had a fling, prompting him to marry.
“I was very hurt on hearing that Ali was dating Gigy Money because I dated her first before she became famous. But it’s alleged that Ali didn’t know. It hurt me for a while till when I married,” said Abdu.
Defunct Nairobi County Council Nurses Go On Strike, Citing Discrimination By The Government
Why Jahmby Kokai is happy her TV anchor dream never came true
37 minutes ago
Popular media personality Jahmby Koikai narrated how her first attempt at auditioning as a TV host backfired and she was sent home on the first day of the audition. Reliving her prime days, Jahmby narrated how she was determined to follow her dream of becoming a news anchor after completing her degree.
“There was a reality show that was running on one major TV channel here in Kenya, searching for the next top news anchor. I’ve always had the knack for news. At the time, I was working at Metro FM. Walked to my boss and asked him if he was ok with me participating in this competition. He agreed to it.
“Auditions were at Film Studios. The queue stretched all the way to the showground. I was at the back kabisa. Imagine 300 people before you. Then we got the briefing paper and it indicated, ‘no persons with experience in a media house allowed to participate in this audition’. Mimi Jahmby Koikai, nirudi home after watu 300 kukuwa mbele yangu?” she posed.
According to the endometriosis survivor, she went ahead to audition for the position despite the warning and was the first contestant to be sent packing.
“So I stayed in line until I got to the audition room. The judges were a few people I was in campus with. I felt a wave of despair. Like I’m here auditioning, yet my classmates will be judging me? I did my thing and I was considered. We got into the house and we were assigned to different groups. I was the group leader and we won the challenge. Later that evening, we were driven back to Film Studios for a briefing. The presenter of the show said some of us have to go home.
“My name was called out first amongst other great people. We were dropped home. I cried. It felt like I’d lost such a great opportunity. My mom and late grandma were so sad cos they loved to watch me do the news,” she narrated.
Later, Jahmby auditioned for another TV opportunity only to miss out as well.
“Then came another opportunity over 10 years ago, I saw a TV ad and decided to apply for the news anchor position. I didn’t get the job.”
However, due to endometriosis, Jahmby was forced to put her dreams on hold and concentrate on getting better. According to her, it is as though God had better plans for her and is grateful to not have gotten the jobs.
“I battled severe endometriosis in silence for over 19 years. I think of how engaging the newsroom is and I’m grateful I wasn’t in that space. I’d have utilized all my sick-leaves and off-days and just declared redundant.”
There was a reality show that was running on one major TV channel here in Kenya, searching for the next top news anchor. I’ve always had the knack for news. At the time, I was working at Metro Fm. Walked to my boss and asked him if he was ok with me participating in this competition. He agreed to it. Auditions were at Film Studios. The queue stretched all the way to the showground. I was at the back kabisa. Imagine 300 people before you. Then we got the briefing paper and it indicated, ‘no persons with experience in a media house allowed to participate in this audition’. Mimi Jahmby Koikai, nirudi home after watu 300 kukuwa mbele yangu? Nikasema zi. So I stayed in line until I got to the audition room. The judges were a few people I was in campus with. I felt a wave of despair. Like I’m here auditioning, yet my classmates will be judging me? I did my thing and I was considered. We got into the house and we were assigned to different groups. I was the group leader and we won the challenge. Later that evening, we were driven back to Film Studios for a briefing. The presenter of the show said, some of us have to go home. My name was called out first amongst other great people. We were dropped home. I cried. It felt like I’d lost such a great opportunity. My mom and late grandma were so sad cos they loved to watch me do the news. Then came another opportunity over 10years ago, I saw a TV ad and decided to apply for the news anchor position. As you see in this pic, I got my hair done at Ralph’s Hair Salon, new suit etc. I didn’t get the job. After KBC, I never got to anchor the news again. I’m grateful I did not get the job even though I felt dejected at the time. I battled severe Endometriosis in silence for over 19years. I think of how engaging the newsroom is and I’m grateful I wasn’t in that space. I’d have utilised all my sick-leaves and off-days and just declared redundant. There are many people like me who are bound by chronic illness and cannot do the things they love. I share your pain. But there’s hope. I’m grateful to God for His reminder that He will restore to you all the years that the locusts have eaten. Also Jer 29:11