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No mbuzi parties for fun-loving Kenyans this Easter – Nairobi News

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If you had any plans of hosting a mbuzi party to celebrate Easter this weekend, you might start changing your plans after Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe warns Kenyans to stay at home and exercise social distancing.

These are extraordinary times he says caused by the coronavirus pandemic and therefore it means that the order of how people are accustomed to do things must also change.

Kagwe insisted that everyone should stay home during Easter that is to be marked on April 12.

“Wakati huu wa Easter watu wakake nyumbani, stay at home. You have no reason to go anywhere, hakuna mambo ya party hakuna mambo ya mbuzi ati tunaenda kukula mbuzi mahali flani. Kwa hiyo kama hakuna mbuzi na hakuna party na hakuna bar unaenda kufanya nini, wewe kaa nyumbani,” Kagwe said in a press briefing on Thursday afternoon at Afya House.

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Mbuzi parties before the curfew time is completely discouraged or moving from one estate to the next.

He also appealed to those in the informal sector, including mama mboga, saloonist, barbers and those in the jua kali industry to practice social distancing at  their workplaces.

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Uganda pursues truckers who escaped after positive tests

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DAILY MONITOR

By DAILY MONITOR
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Uganda’s Ministry of Health says it has intensified the search for contacts of the seven truck drivers with Covid-19 who were found in Ndeeba, a city suburb, on Saturday night.

The National Covid-19 Response Incident Commander Ateka Kagirita told Daily Monitor Monday that the truck drivers had escaped into the community after finding out their status.

Dr Kagirita said the truckers are among the 25 drivers who previously disappeared into the community after they tested positive at Elegu and Malaba border posts.

“The 24-hour operation is ongoing to hunt down all the truck drivers who escaped into the community after testing positive. We are working day and night to get who they got into contact with, establish where they slept to ensure there is no positive case in the community,” he said.

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Asked whether any action will be taken against the drivers for disappearing into the communities, aware that they could spread the disease, Dr Kagirita said he would give details later.

The Uganda Professional Drivers Network (UPDN) revealed that the Saturday night development, which they attributed to their intervention to help the government to come up with a more comprehensive plan to manage the truck drivers.

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UPDN Executive Director Ndugu Omogo said the seven are Ugandan, Kenyan and Tanzanian nationals.

“Some of them have been in the community for more than a week. Many of them ran away because there is no existing case management system. Many of them think the disease doesn’t exist and that the government just wants to steal money,” he said.

Mr Omogo explained that the drivers believe the disease is a hoax because they have not been adequately sensitised about it.

He added that many of them run away because they are freelance drivers who do not have contracts with the truck owners and when they are arrested and quarantined for 14 days, they are certain of losing jobs.

“100 per cent of the drivers who have tested positive are freelance. They do not have jobs. The only way they get money is when they return the trucks. Nobody accepts them in the community when they test positive,” he said.

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Meet the brains behind online therapy sessions for athletes – Nairobi News

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Covid-19 has changed how most people and organizations with a lot of work now being done from home. The sports industry has also changed with athletes mostly working out from through online platforms like Zoom.

Two psychologists have also embraced the change and are now offering free therapy sessions for athletes.

Rowena Tirop and Kanyali Ilako, who work under the umbrella of Brain Frees Consultancies, say the main reason they are offering free therapy sessions to athletes is because they realized athletes are going through difficult times at the moment and their mental health has been ignored for a while even before the pandemic.

The therapy sessions will kick off on Monday 25th June and will end on Friday 5th June. They will be conducted via phone calls, Whatsapp and Zoom.

Nairobi News caught up with the duo recently.

In a nutshell, who are you?

Rowena Tirop: We are a partnership of two ladies working under one umbrella, Brain Frees Consultancies. I have a background in competitive swimming, hockey and football. I have a degree in Psychology and Counselling and MSc in Sport and Exercise Psychology. I have worked with a collegiate rugby Union in London and currently work with the Kenya Rugby Union (KRU)

Kanyali Ilako: I have an MSc in Sports and Performance Psychology and my background is in competitive swimming. I have worked with Olympic swimmers in Finland, a league one football team in Greece, at the International Tennis Federation (ITA) East Africa training center in Kenya and I’m also an intellectual impairment classifier with the International Paralympic committee (IPC).

How did you get into this profession?

Kanyali Ilako: Having been a competitive swimmer and then coach, I realized that athletes and coaches get support nutritionally, physically through Strength and Conditioning training but there was still a gap in the mental health aspect and I have always been passionate about the importance and de-stigmatization of mental health.

Rowena Tirop: I love always loved sports. My intrigue rose from seeing athletes injured and the process of getting them back to playing. Following this I noticed the main priorities were physical and nutritional health and the mental health was rarely focused on. Watching Mike Friday’s coaching sessions, and the former Kenya Sevens team playing sealed it for me and I decided to combine the two things I enjoy, psychology and sport.

How has the experience been so far?

Kanyali Ilako: The experience has been great so far people are intrigued and interested and surprisingly not shy to reach out. Having worked with different organizations, clubs and individuals and recently appearing on different media platforms addressing this in the last 3 years there is growth and appreciation for this service.

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Kanyali Ilako. PHOTO | COURTESY

What is your take on the uptake of such a professional service you are offering among Kenyan athletes?

Rowena Tirop: It is very important. There is no health without mental health, to break through your performance you have to break through your psychology.

Is there a demand for the same?

Kanyali Ilako: Yes, now more than ever. COVID-19 has altered all our lives and the changes that have come about, as a result, have led to an increase in sedentary behaviors and in turn it has contributed to an increase in mental ailments such as anxiety, frustration, irritability and depressive moods. Athletes are facing career disruptions, as experienced with injuries or retirement, and are led to training in less effective environments without their coaches and teams.

Any challenges?

Rowena Tirop: It is still a very new thing here, with the two of us being the only ones currently practicing it in Kenya. However, there has been significant progress in the field of Psychology and Psychiatry towards the destigmatization of mental disorders. We have to keep going.

What prompted you to start online therapy sessions?

Kanyali Ilako: It is a very difficult time for athletes and coaches and we wanted to reach as many people as we could.

Anything else you’d like to clarify?

Rowena Tirop: Yes. People confuse psychologists and psychiatrists a lot. We are psychologists, not psychiatrists.

Psychiatrists are trained medical doctors, they can prescribe medications and they spend much of their time with patients on medication management as a course of treatment while psychologists focus extensively on psychotherapy and treating emotional and mental suffering in patients with behavioral interventions.

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Brazil stands by malaria drug despite WHO suspension

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AFP

By AFP
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Brazil’s health ministry said Monday it would not change its recommendation to treat coronavirus with hydroxychloroquine, despite the World Health Organisation deciding to suspend trials of the drug over safety concerns.

Like his US counterpart Donald Trump, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has touted the supposed benefits of hydroxychloroquine and a related drug, chloroquine, against the new coronavirus.

Studies, however, have questioned their safety and efficacy against the disease, including one published Friday in respected medical journal The Lancet that found the drugs actually increased the risk of death.

That led the WHO to suspend a worldwide clinical trial of hydroxychloroquine as a Covid-19 treatment Monday.

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“We’re remaining calm and there will be no change” to the Brazilian guideline issued last week, health ministry official Mayra Pinheiro told a news conference.

The guideline recommended doctors in the public health system prescribe either chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine from the onset of Covid-19 symptoms.

It was issued shortly after the resignation of former health minister Nelson Teich, who reportedly quit over Bolsonaro’s insistence on pushing the drugs despite a lack of solid evidence.

He was Brazil’s second health minister in less than a month.

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Brazil, the Latin American country hit hardest by the pandemic, has emerged as the latest flashpoint, with nearly 375,000 cases — the second-highest in the world, after the United States — and more than 23,000 deaths.

Experts say under-testing means the real figures are probably far higher.

Hydroxychloroquine is typically used to treat autoimmune diseases, while chloroquine is generally used against malaria.

Preliminary studies in China and France had generated hope the drugs might be effective against the new coronavirus.

That led governments to buy them in bulk. Trump even said last week he was taking hydroxychloroquine as a preventive measure, though he said Sunday he had finished his course of treatment.

Pinheiro questioned the Lancet study, which analyzed the medical records of 96,000 patients across hundreds of hospitals.

“It wasn’t a clinical trial, it was just a data set collected from different countries, and that doesn’t meet the criteria of a methodologically acceptable study to serve as a reference for any country in the world, including Brazil,” she said.

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