“I cannot wait for my quarantine days to be over so that I can mourn my mother; I will start wailing at the door.”
These were the painful words of Brenda Akinyi, 42, whose mother, Ursula Buluma, a Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) employee, passed away at a Mombasa hospital on April 2 and was buried the same day at Mbaraki cemetery.
Ms Buluma was the Coast region’s first Covid-19 fatality.
Speaking to the Nation on phone from her isolation bed at Coast General Hospital (CPGH) in Mombasa, Ms Akinyi, who is the late Buluma’s first born daughter, said her mother’s death was as a result of “carelessness and negligence” by the hospital’s management.
“I am yet to grieve. I didn’t see her body, nor attend her burial,” she said, adding: “My mother has been having health complications which she has lived with for years, so when she called me on Wednesday, March 25, to go to her house in Jomvu to take her to hospital, I did not find it strange because it was not the first time I was doing it.”
They went to Bandari Clinic – which is usually the first stop for KPA employees – where her mother was diagnosed with pneumonia and referred to the Mombasa hospital.
“We went to Mombasa hospital on a KPA ambulance, where my mother was first taken to the emergency section and put on oxygen. However, she was removed from the intensive care unit and taken for what the hospital staff told me was screening, the same day,” she said from her Rahamtulla isolation ward at CPGH.
She was later told that her mother will have to be taken to an isolation ward as they suspected that she had Covid-19 disease.
She visited her mother on Friday and Saturday, staying next to her on both days and chatting as usual. But when she returned on Sunday, March 29, she was asked to stay away because her mother had tested positive.
“I was devastated. I also demanded to know why my mother was not put on pneumonia treatment at Mombasa hospital as was directed by doctors at Bandari Clinic, but no one gave me an answer.”
According Ms Akinyi, doctors visited her home on Monday, March 30, did some tests and left. They returned on Tuesday, March 31, to pick her.
TESTS TURN NEGATIVE
She was first taken to the Kenya Medical Training College (KMTC) isolation centre in Mombasa before being moved to the Coast General Hospital on Tuesday, April 1.
“I have been in quarantine for 10 days today and I have not exhibited any symptoms. I have been in touch with my children and none of them has exhibited any signs, which leaves me very confused as to why exactly I am here,” she said.
“I have not been given any results from the tests they did before they took me to KMTC and thereafter in this isolation ward. It is very frustrating because I am not aware of my condition. Am I on forced quarantine or under treatment?” she wondered.
Ms Akinyi’s children are under quarantine at the KMTC, Mombasa campus. But given the poor condition of the facilities, the family transferred them to Mombasa Beach Hotel, one of the quarantine centres at the Coast.
According to her, life in isolation is tough because she is cut off physically from the rest of the world, depending on her mobile phone and internet connectivity to keep abreast with what is going on in the country and beyond.
“I am in a self-contained room staring at the walls the whole day, without anyone to talk to or even an opportunity to bask in the sun,” she said.
Ms Akinyi said she wakes up as early as 4am to browse the internet and check on friends on social media until 7am, when her breakfast is served by hospital staff.
At 10am, she is served with tea, and thereafter lunch at noon. Four hours later, an evening cup of tea is wheeled into her room, before her dinner closes the daily meal routine at 7pm.
“They have made sure that we have our meals on time. That is all we get here, mostly because one is rarely visited by a medical doctor,” Ms Akinyi said, adding that the medics talk to her on phone mainly to ask if she is exhibiting any symptoms.
“On the first day I was given drugs to take for four days. I did not know what they were for but took them anyway. I have completed the dosage,” she says.
Ms Akinyi said fresh samples were taken from her on Tuesday, April 7, but she is yet to get any feedback.
“It is the nurses who keep briefing me on what is happening around because I have never seen any reason to step outside my isolation ward,” she said.
She revealed that she was very upset when she was informed of the demise of Mr Mark Mbua, a former chairman of the Mombasa Golf Club, whom she learnt had been in the room next to hers.
“I keep counting the number of days left. I cannot wait to leave this place and return to my normal life. I want to mourn my mother, but only after I finish fighting this battle.”
80 people quarantined after driver tests positive for Covid-19 in Bomet: The Standard
At least 80 people suspected to have come in contact with a driver who tested positive for Covid-19 have been quarantined in Bomet County.
Among those who have been quarantined at Kaptien Village in Konoin are extended family members and neighbours of the 40-year-old driver.
Bomet Medical Services and Public Health CEC Dr Joseph Sitonik said the group was rounded up and asked to stay indoor after the driver returned positive results for Covid.
He said a team of public health and security personnel have been deployed to the village to ensure the contacts observe self-quarantine.
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Sitonik said the driver who doubles up as a messenger in one of the tea estates in Kericho County fell sick and came home before being referred to hospital by relatives.
Sitonik said it is at Central Hospital where health personal found him to exhibit coronairus symptoms where they took his samples for test.
“After being admitted, doctors opted to test him for Covid and he returned positive results and we are now out to search for all his contacts,” he said
“At the moment we have put 80 people into quarantine and numbers are going to rise since the driver interacted with many people both at his work place and home,” he said.
Sitonik said samples will be taken from all the contacts currently in quarantine.
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“At the moment all the contacts we have identified are under self-quarantine and if they are going to ignore the directives we are going to force them into supervised quarantine at their cost,” said Sitonik.
Sitonik said health officials in Kericho County have mounted a man hunt for staff of the tea estates where the driver works.
“Since the driver moves around distributing letters within the estate a number of his colleagues who came in contact with him will be taken in for quarantine and tested,” he added.
Sitonik at the same time said the county was ready for any outcome from the incident saying the county has put in place all the required measures to tackle Covid
He said at the moment the county has 95 isolation beds distributed across the county with another 224 beds being prepared at Koiwa Health Centre to deal with Covid cases in case of a surge.
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Sitonik also revealed that the county has 15 ICU beds and two mobile ventilators which will come in handy to tackle the virus.
So far, Bomet had earlier recorded one positive case of the virus.
Gikuyu Supreme Council of Elders say no to abortion bill: The Standard
Gikuyu Elders from Kimani Wa Kabui (left), Boro wa Ngera, Warorua wa Kimani and Njathi wa Mbatia say a traditional prayer before they addressed the media to affirm their unwavering support for President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposed the family abortion bill before Senate at the Bowling Green. [ Jenipher Wachie, Standard]
The Gikuyu Council of Elders has opposed a bill that seeks to ease access to abortion, urging the legislators from the community and others of goodwill to champion the shooting down of the proposed law currently before the Senate.
The Supreme Council of the Gikuyu Cultural Association, referred as Athamaki said the Bill was not only against the religious teachings but was also in contravention of the cultural teachings that rebuke abortion.
The elders said Kenya’s legislators must guard the society against introduction of alien practices, especially those that go against both the religious and cultural beliefs, as they said was the case with the Reproductive Healthcare Bill, sponsored by nominated Senator Agnes Zani.
“The Gikuyu traditions never allowed such practices like abortion, never. This to the Gikuyu community is an outcast as it is killing, and we do not advocate for killing. Religious teachings across the board also are against this, so we are asking, especially legislators from our community, and those supporting our position, to reject this Bill and ensure it does not pass,” said elder Waruru wa Kimani.
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The Athamaki said allowing the Bill to pass will facilitate easy access to abortion, which has remained a contentious issue, and which was also rejected through the enacting of Constitution 2010.
“We do not want to have a society where we allow immoral practices to thrive, just because it would be easy to procure an abortion in the event of an unwanted pregnancy. The Gikuyu customs have never allowed this, we will not allow it now.”
The Bill has come under heavy criticism, especially part five of the proposed law entitled Termination of Pregnancy, which states “A pregnancy may be terminated by a trained health professional wherein the person’s opinion there is need for emergency treatment, the pregnancy would endanger the life or health of the mother or there is a substantial risk that the foetus would suffer from a severe physical or mental abnormality that is incompatible with the life outside the womb”.
Religious organisations have also voiced their opposition to the proposed law, led by Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) and the Supreme Council of Muslims leaders (Supkem).
Catholic bishops have equally rallied their MPs to reject the Bill saying it goes against the doctrines of the church The Chairman of the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops, Philip Anyolo, has written to all Catholic MPs urging them to shoot down the proposed law.
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The Gikuyu elders also said they would be meeting with the Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe to be furnished with regulations that they would require to undertake while taking young boys through circumcision during the current Corona pandemic.
“Normally, whenever we have a pandemic in the country we have always discouraged offering the rites of passage, but on consultations we have agreed that we be granted regulations that we may require to have the circumcision for our boys. We have secured an appointment with Kagwe and we hope we will be given the right regulations for this important cultural exercise,” said Muthamaki Kariuki wa Kabui.
Man, 20, arrested for cohabiting with 16-year old minor: The Standard
A 20-year-old man is being held at Kopolo Police Post in Bondo Sub-County after he was arrested for cohabiting with a 16-year-old girl at Gul-Koyando Village in East Migwena Sub-Location.
According to the area village elder George Otieno, the suspect who has been identified as Abraham Oluoch was arrested after he was found staying with the minor as his wife.
He stated that they got the information yesterday evening and went to execute the arrest after the suspect is alleged to have senselessly beaten the minor who is a class seven pupil at Rapogi Primary School in West Yimbo Location
He told The Standard that he arrested both the suspect and the minor and handed them over to the area Assistant chief Alfred Otieno Oyola who took them to Kopolo Police post.
“These cases are on the rise in this area and we will ensure that the perpetrators are arrested and prosecuted,” he said.
The area Assistant chief confirmed the arrest of the suspect and the minor.
“Police have already investigations to establish the exact age of the girl before they can be processed for prosecution,” said Oyola.
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