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The 22 women who have accused Trump of sexual misconduct – Politics – Pulselive.co.ke

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  • At least 22 women have accused President Donald Trump of sexual misconduct between the 1970s and 2013.
  • Renewed attention has been brought to the allegations amid a national conversation concerning sexual misconduct.
  • Trump continues to deny all of the accusations, calling the women “liars.”

As a national conversation on sexual misconduct is gripping the country from Hollywood to Capitol Hill, some renewed attention has been focused on the sexual misconduct allegations that at least 22 women have made against President Donald Trump.

A deluge of women made their accusations public following the October 2016 release of the “Access Hollywood” tape, in which Trump was recorded boasting about grabbing women’s genitals in 2005. Some others made their stories public months before the tape’s release, and still others came forward as recently as December.

Trump has dismissed all of the allegations — which include ogling, harassment, groping, and rape — as “fabricated” and politically motivated accounts pushed by the media and his political opponents, and promised to sue all of his accusers. In some cases, he and his lawyer have suggested that Trump didn’t engage in the alleged behavior with a certain woman because she was not attractive enough.

“Every woman lied when they came forward to hurt my campaign,” the Republican nominee said during a 2016 rally. “Total fabrication. The events never happened. Never. All of these liars will be sued after the election is over.”

Trump has not yet made good on his promise to sue any of the women — although one, Summer Zervos, has sued him for defamation after he called all of his accusers liars – and the White House says that Trump’s election proves the American people don’t consider the allegations disqualifying.

“The people of this country, at a decisive election, supported President Trump, and we feel like these allegations have been answered through that process,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters on December 11, after several of the president’s accusers appeared on national television to rehash their allegations.

But despite Trump’s denials, 50% of voters — 59% of women and 41% of men — surveyed in a Quinnipiac poll released December 19 think the president should resign as a result of the sexual misconduct allegations against him. Several Democratic lawmakers have recently called on Trump to resign over the accusations.

One accuser, Samantha Holvey, who recently spoke out again about her experience with Trump as a Miss USA pageant contestant, said that while his election was painful, she and others see the #MeToo movement as an opportunity to “try round two.”

“We’re private citizens, and for us to put ourselves out there to try and show America who this man is and especially how he views women, and for them to say ‘meh, we don’t care’ — it hurts,” Holvey said on NBC News’ “Megyn Kelly Today” in December. “And so now it’s just like, all right, let’s try round two. The environment’s different. Let’s try again.”

Here are all of the allegations — in chronological order — made by 22 named women:

Jessica Leeds


Jessica Leedsplay

Jessica Leeds

(NBC News)

Allegations:

Jessica Leeds told the New York Times in October 2016 that Trump reached his hand up her skirt and groped her while seated next to her on a flight in the late 1970s.

“He was like an octopus. His hands were everywhere,” Leeds said, adding that she fled to the back of the plane.

During an interview on NBC News’ “Megyn Kelly Today” in December, Leeds added that she was at a gala in New York three years after the incident on the plane when she ran into Trump, who recognized her and called her a c—.

“He called me the worst name ever,” she said. “It was shocking. It was like a bucket of cold water being thrown over me.”

Trump’s response:

Trump denied the allegations and during a rally in October 2016, suggested that Leeds wasn’t attractive enough for him to assault.

“People that are willing to say, ‘Oh, I was with Donald Trump in 1980, I was sitting with him on an airplane, and he went after me,'” Trump said. “Believe me, she would not be my first choice.”

Ivana Trump


Donald Trump and his former wife, Ivana, pose outside the Federal Courthouse after she was sworn in as a United States citizen in May 1988.play

Donald Trump and his former wife, Ivana, pose outside the Federal Courthouse after she was sworn in as a United States citizen in May 1988.

(Reuters)

Allegations:

In a 1990 divorce deposition, Trump’s first wife and the mother of his three eldest children Ivana Trump accused her then-husband of raping her in a fit of rage in 1989.

Ivana said Trump attacked her after he underwent a painful “scalp reduction” procedure done by a doctor she had recommended, tearing her clothes and yanking out a chunk of her hair.

“Then he jams his penis inside her for the first time in more than 16 months. Ivana is terrified … It is a violent assault,” Harry Hurt III, who obtained a copy of the deposition, wrote in a 1993 book about Trump. “According to versions she repeats to some of her closest confidantes, ‘he raped me.'”

Ivana later slightly altered her allegation, saying that while she felt “violated” on that occasion, she hadn’t accused Trump of raping her “in a literal or criminal sense.”

“[O]n one occasion during 1989, Mr. Trump and I had marital relations in which he behaved very differently toward me than he had during our marriage,” Ivana wrote in a 1993 statement. “As a woman, I felt violated, as the love and tenderness, which he normally exhibited towards me, was absent. I referred to this as a ‘rape,’ but I do not want my words to be interpreted in a literal or criminal sense.”

Ivana is mother to Donald Jr., Eric, and Ivanka Trump.

Trump’s response:

Trump called Hurt’s description of Ivana’s allegation “obviously false” in 1993, according to Newsday. Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen, argued in 2015 that his client could not have raped Ivana because “you cannot rape your spouse.”

“There’s very clear case law,” he said.

Cohen later recanted, saying his comment was “inarticulate.”

Kristin Anderson


Kristin Andersonplay

Kristin Anderson

(Screenshot/Washington Post)

Allegations:

Kristin Anderson, a photographer and former model said Trump reached under her skirt and touched her vagina through her underwear at a New York City nightclub in the early 1990s.

Anderson, then in her early 20s, said she wasn’t talking with Trump at the time and didn’t realize he was sitting next to her when he groped her without her consent.

“So, the person on my right who, unbeknownst to me at that time was Donald Trump, put their hand up my skirt. He did touch my vagina through my underwear, absolutely. And as I pushed the hand away and I got up and I turned around and I see these eyebrows, very distinct eyebrows, of Donald Trump,” she told The Washington Post in October 2016.

Anderson said she and her friends, who were talking together around a table at the time of the incident, were “very grossed out and weirded out,” but thought “Okay, Donald is gross. We all know he’s gross. Let’s just move on.”

Trump’s response:

“Mr. Trump strongly denies this phony allegation by someone looking to get some free publicity,” Hope Hicks, the president’s then-spokeswoman and current White House communications director, told the Post in October 2016. “It is totally ridiculous.”

Jill Harth


Jill Harthplay

Jill Harth

(Screenshot/Inside Edition)

Allegations:

Jill Harth, a businesswoman who worked with Trump in the 1990s, told the Guardian in July 2016 that Trump pushed her against a wall, put his hand up her skirt, and tried to kiss her at a dinner at his Mar-a-Lago resort in the early 1990s.

“He was relentless,” she told the New York Times. “I didn’t know how to handle it. I would go away from him and say I have to go to the restroom. It was the escape route.”

Harth sued Trump in 1997 both for sexual harassment and for failing to uphold his end of a business deal with Harth and her then-partner.

Trump’s response:

Hicks responded to the Times’ reporting, denying Harth’s allegations wholesale.

“Mr. Trump denies each and every statement made by Ms. Harth,” she said.

Lisa Boyne


Lisa Boyneplay

Lisa Boyne

(Screenshot/Bustle)

Allegations:

Lisa Boyne, a health food business entrepreneur, told HuffPost in October 2016 that she attended a 1996 dinner with Trump and modeling agent John Casablancas during which several other women in attendance were forced to walk across a table in order to leave.

As the women walked on the table, Boyne says that Trump looked up their skirts and commented on their underwear and genitals. Trump allegedly asked Boyne for her opinion on which of the women he should sleep with.

Boyne joined Jessica Leeds, Samantha Holvey, Rachel Crooks — three others who have accused Trump of sexual misconduct — in calling on Congress to investigate Trump in December.

Trump’s response:

Hicks denied Boyne’s allegations. “Mr. Trump never heard of this woman and would never do that,” she told HuffPost.

Mariah Billado and Victoria Hughes

Allegations:

Two Miss Teen USA contestants told BuzzFeed News in October 2016 that Trump walked in on them while they were changing in their dressing rooms.

“I remember putting on my dress really quick because I was like, ‘Oh my god, there’s a man in here,'” Mariah Billado, who represented Vermont in 1997, told BuzzFeed. Billado added that Trump said something along the lines of, “Don’t worry, ladies, I’ve seen it all before.”

Victoria Hughes, a former Miss New Mexico, said Trump first introduced himself to the teenage contestants when he unexpectedly walked into their dressing room.

“It was certainly the most inappropriate time to meet us all for the first time,” she told BuzzFeed.

Trump’s response:

Trump appeared to admit to this behavior when he boasted in an April 2005 interview with radio host Howard Stern that he regularly walked into contestants’ dressing rooms on the beauty pageants he owned while women were unclothed.

“I’ll go backstage before a show and everyone’s getting dressed and ready and everything else. And you know, no men are anywhere. And I’m allowed to go in because I’m the owner of the pageant,” he said. “You know they’re standing there with no clothes. And you see these incredible-looking women. And so I sort of get away with things like that.”

In October 2016, the Trump campaign called the allegations politically motivated lies.

“These accusations have no merit and have already been disproven by many other individuals who were present,” the campaign said in a statement. “When you see questionable attacks like this magically put out there in the final month of a presidential campaign, you have to ask yourself what the political motivations are and why the media is pushing it.”

Temple Taggart


Temple Taggartplay

Temple Taggart

(Screenshot/CNN)

Allegations:

Temple Taggart, a former Miss Utah, told the New York Times in May 2016 that Trump “kissed me directly on the lips” when she met him at the Miss USA pageant in 1997. Trump did the same thing when Taggart met with him again at Trump Tower in Manhattan after he offered to aid her modeling career, she said.

In November 2017, Taggart spoke out again, telling the Times that the allegations against Trump were “brushed under the rug.”

Trump’s response:

Trump “emphatically” denies Taggart’s claims.

“I don’t even know who she is,” Trump told NBC News in October 2016. “She claims this took place in a public area. I never kissed her. I emphatically deny this ridiculous claim.”

Cathy Heller

Allegations:

Cathy Heller told the Guardian in October 2016 that she was attending a Mother’s Day brunch with her husband, children, and in-laws at Mar-a-Lago in the 1990s when Trump approached her table, introduced himself to her, and forcibly kissed her.

“He took my hand, and grabbed me, and went for the lips,” she said, and added that she was “angry and shaken” as a result of the incident.

Trump’s response:

A Trump campaign spokesman denied Heller’s allegation, arguing that it couldn’t have happened in public.

“There is no way that something like this would have happened in a public place on Mother’s Day at Mr. Trump’s resort,” Jason Miller said. “It would have been the talk of Palm Beach for the past two decades.”

Karena Virginia


Karena Virginia (front) with her lawyer, Gloria Allred.play

Karena Virginia (front) with her lawyer, Gloria Allred.

(Richard Drew/AP)

Allegations:

Karena Virginia, a yoga instructor and life coach, told the Washington Post in October 2016 that Trump groped her as she waited for her car outside the US Open in New York in 1998.

Virginia, then 27, said she overheard Trump talking with a group of men about her legs and that Trump then approached her, grabbed her arm, and touched her breast before asking, “Don’t you know who I am?”

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Trump’s response:

“Give me a break,” Trump representative Jessica Ditto said in response to Virginia’s allegation. “Voters are tired of these circus like antics and reject these fictional stories and the clear efforts to benefit Hillary Clinton.”

Tasha Dixon and Bridget Sullivan


Tasha Dixon.play

Tasha Dixon.

(Screenshot/CNN)

Allegations:

Two Miss USA contestants said Trump walked into their dressing rooms, where female participants were changing, and ogled them.

Tasha Dixon, a former Miss Arizona who competed in the 2001 Miss USA pageant, told CBS in October 2016 that Trump walked into the contestants’ dressing room while they were changing.

“He just came strolling right in,” Dixon said. “There was no second to put a robe on or any sort of clothing or anything. Some girls were topless, other girls were naked.”

She added, “To have the owner come waltzing in when we’re naked or half naked in a very physically vulnerable position, and then to have the pressure of the people that work for him telling us to go fawn all over him, go walk up to him, talk to him.”

Dixon said there was “no one to complain to” because Trump owned the pageant and everyone employed there reported to him.

Bridget Sullivan, Miss New Hampshire in 2000, told BuzzFeed News in May 2016 that Trump walked into the contestants’ dressing room unannounced and hugged her inappropriately.

“The time that he walked through the dressing rooms was really shocking. We were all naked,” Sullivan said, comparing Trump to a “creepy uncle.” “He’d hug you just a little low on your back.”

Trump’s response:

In October 2016, the Trump campaign denied Dixon’s allegations, calling them politically motivated fabrications.

“These accusations have no merit and have already been disproven by many other individuals who were present,” the campaign said in a statement. “When you see questionable attacks like this magically put out there in the final month of a presidential campaign, you have to ask yourself what the political motivations are and why the media is pushing it.”

Melinda McGillivray


Melinda McGillivrayplay

Melinda McGillivray

(Wilfredo Lee/AP)

Allegations:

Melinda “Mindy” McGillivray told the Palm Beach Post in October 2016 that Trump grabbed her buttocks while they were backstage during a Ray Charles concert at Mar-a-Lago in 2003.

Ken Davidoff, a photographer present at the concert, said McGillivray, then 23, approached him soon after the incident and said, “Donald just grabbed my a–!”

McGillivray spoke out again on ” target=”_blank”Megyn Kelly Today” in December, calling for a congressional investigation into the accusations of sexual misconduct against Trump.

“He has to face the music; he can’t get away with this,” McGillivray said. “I want justice.”

Trump’s response:

The Post reported that Trump did not respond to requests for comment concerning McGillivray’s accusation, but the president has broadly denied all of the sexual misconduct accusations made against him.

“The timing and absurdity of these false claims speaks volumes and the publicity tour that has begun only further confirms the political motives behind them,” White House press secretary Sanders said after the TV appearance in December.

Natasha Stoynoff


Natasha Stoynoffplay

Natasha Stoynoff

(Screenshot/ABC News)

Allegations:

People magazine reporter Natasha Stoynoff wrote in an October 2016 column that Trump sexually assaulted her in 2005 at Mar-a-Lago. Stoynoff was visiting Trump and his new wife, Melania, at their Florida estate to report on a story about the couple’s first year of marriage.

While a pregnant Melania was changing clothes for a photoshoot, Trump offered to show Stoynoff a “tremendous” room at the resort.

“We walked into that room alone, and Trump shut the door behind us. I turned around, and within seconds he was pushing me against the wall and forcing his tongue down my throat,” Stoynoff wrote.

She added that Trump told her they would have a sexual affair. “Have you ever been to Peter Luger’s for steaks? I’ll take you. We’re going to have an affair, I’m telling you,” he allegedly said.

Trump’s response:

Trump denied the allegations, tweeting last year, “Why didn’t the writer of the twelve year old article in People Magazine mention the ‘incident’ in her story. Because it did not happen!”

Jennifer Murphy and Juliet Huddy


Jennifer Murphy.play

Jennifer Murphy.

(Mario Anzuoni/AP)

Allegations:

Two women have said Trump kissed them without their consent, but that they weren’t offended by it at the time.

Juliet Huddy, a former Fox News anchor, said on the “Mornin!!! With Bill Schulz” podcast in December 2017 that Trump kissed her on the lips without her consent after a meeting in Trump Tower in Manhattan in 2005 or 2006.

“He went to say goodbye and he, rather than kiss me on the cheek, he leaned in on the lips,” she said. Huddy added that she was surprised by the kiss, but “didn’t feel threatened” or “offended” at the time.

“Now that I’ve matured, I would’ve said, ‘Nope.’ At that time, I was making excuses,” she said in December.

Jennifer Murphy, a former contestant both in Miss USA and Trump’s reality TV show “The Apprentice,” told Grazia magazine in December 2016 that Trump kissed her unexpectedly following a job interview in Trump Tower in 2005.

Although Murphy said she was “very taken aback at the time,” she later told CNN that she “wasn’t offended” by the kiss. She said she voted for him for president, and even created a Katy Perry parody video in which she sang, “I was kissed by Trump and I liked it.”

Trump’s response:

The White House denied Huddy’s account, according to the New York Daily News.

Rachel Crooks


Rachel Crooksplay

Rachel Crooks

(Monica Schipper/Getty Images)

Allegations:

Rachel Crooks told the New York Times in October 2016 that Trump kissed her on the mouth without her consent when she introduced herself him in 2005 Trump Tower in Manhattan, where she worked as a receptionist.

She told the Times that she and Trump shook hands and then he kissed her “directly on the mouth.”

Crooks told her sister, who confirmed her account to the Times, but said she thought she would lose her job if she told her company anything about the interaction.

“I was shocked, devastated,” she said during a December 2017 interview on “Megyn Kelly Today,” adding: “I remember hiding in our boss’ office because no one else was there, it was early in the morning, and I called my sister … I felt horrible.”

Crooks joined calls for a congressional investigation into Trump’s alleged misconduct.

Trump’s response:

Trump denied Crooks’ account in an interview with the New York Times in October 2016. “None of this ever took place,” he said, threatening to sue the Times if it reported on the allegations.

Samantha Holvey


Samantha Holveyplay

Samantha Holvey

(Monica Schipper/Getty Images)

Allegations:

Samantha Holvey, a contestant in the 2006 Miss USA pageant, which Trump owned, told CNN in October 2016 that Trump personally inspected each of the pageant contestants individually.

“He would step in front of each girl and look you over from head to toe like we were just meat, we were just sexual objects, that we were not people,” Holvey said, adding that it made her feel “the dirtiest I felt in my entire life.”

Then a 20-year-old student at a private Southern Baptist college, Holvey said she “had no desire to win when I understood what it was all about.”

Holvey also called for a congressional investigation into Trump’s alleged misconduct.

Trump’s response:

CNN, who first reported on Holvey’s allegations, said Trump did not respond to requests for comment, but the president has broadly denied all of the sexual misconduct accusations made against him.

Ninni Laaksonen

Allegations:

Ninni Laaksonen, a model and former Miss Finland, told Finnish newspaper Ilta-Sanomat in October 2016 that Trump groped her backstage at the “Late Show with David Letterman” in 2006.

“Trump stood right next to me and suddenly he squeezed my butt,” Laaksonen said. “He really grabbed my butt. I don’t think anybody saw it, but I flinched and thought, ‘What is happening?'”

Trump’s response:

The newspaper did not include a response from Trump, but the president has broadly denied all of the sexual misconduct accusations made against him.

Jessica Drake


Jessica Drakeplay

Jessica Drake

(Kevork Djansezian/Reuters)

Allegations:

At an October 2016 press conference, adult-film actress Jessica Drake accused Trump of grabbing and kissing her without permission and offering her money to accept a private invitation to his penthouse hotel room in Lake Tahoe in 2006.

“This is not acceptable behavior for anyone, much less a presidential candidate,” Drake said. “I understand that I may be called a liar or an opportunist, but I will risk that in order to stand in solidarity with women who share similar accounts that span many, many years.”

Trump’s response:

Trump called Drake’s accusations “total fiction” and implied that Drake was accustomed to being “grabbed” because she is a porn actress.

“One said, ‘He grabbed me on the arm.’ And she’s a porn star. You know, this one that came out recently, ‘He grabbed me and he grabbed me on the arm.’ Oh, I’m sure she’s never been grabbed before,” he said on WGIR radio.

Summer Zervos


Summer Zervosplay

Summer Zervos

(Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

Allegations:

Summer Zervos, a former contestant on NBC’s “The Apprentice,” told reporters at an October 2016 press conference that Trump assaulted her during a 2007 meeting at The Beverly Hills Hotel.

“He then grabbed my shoulder and began kissing me again very aggressively and placed his hand on my breast,” she said. “I pulled back and walked to another part of the room. He then walked up, grabbed my hand, and pulled me into the bedroom. I walked out.” Zervos added that Trump thrust himself on her before she left the room.

Zervos sued Trump for defamation after he accused her of lying about the allegations. Trump’s attorneys have moved to dismiss the case, arguing that, as president, he can’t be sued in state court and that his remarks about his accusers are political speech. The suit is ongoing.

Trump’s response:

“I vaguely remember Ms. Zervos as one of the many contestants on ‘The Apprentice’ over the years,” Trump said in a statement. “To be clear, I never met her at a hotel or greeted her inappropriately a decade ago. That is not who I am as a person, and it is not how I’ve conducted my life. In fact, Ms. Zervos continued to contact me for help, emailing my office on April 14 of this year asking that I visit her restaurant in California.”

Cassandra Searles


Cassandra Searlesplay

Cassandra Searles

(Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Allegations:

Cassandra Searles, who represented the state of Washington at the 2013 Miss USA pageant, wrote in a June 2016 Facebook post that Trump treated herself and other female Miss USA contestants “like cattle” and had them “lined up so he could get a closer look at his property.”

“He probably doesn’t want me telling the story about that time he continually grabbed my ass and invited me to his hotel room,” she added.

Trump’s response:

Trump has not specifically denied Searles’ allegations, but he has broadly denied all of the sexual misconduct accusations made against him.



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Public officers above 58 years and with pre-existing conditions told to work from home: The Standard

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Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua. [File, Standard]
In a document from Head of Public Service, Joseph Kinyua new measure have been outlined to curb the bulging spread of covid-19. Public officers with underlying health conditions and those who are over 58 years -a group that experts have classified as most vulnerable to the virus will be required to execute their duties from home.

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However, the new rule excluded personnel in the security sector and other critical and essential services.
“All State and public officers with pre-existing medical conditions and/or aged 58 years and above serving in CSG5 (job group ‘S’) and below or their equivalents should forthwith work from home,” read the document,” read the document.
To ensure that those working from home deliver, the Public Service directs that there be clear assignments and targets tasked for the period designated and a clear reporting line to monitor and review work done.
SEE ALSO: Thinking inside the cardboard box for post-lockdown work stations
Others measures outlined in the document include the provision of personal protective equipment to staff, provision of sanitizers and access to washing facilities fitted with soap and water, temperature checks for all staff and clients entering public offices regular fumigation of office premises and vehicles and minimizing of visitors except by prior appointments.
Officers who contract the virus and come back to work after quarantine or isolation period will be required to follow specific directives such as obtaining clearance from the isolation facility certified by the designated persons indicating that the public officer is free and safe from Covid-19. The officer will also be required to stay away from duty station for a period of seven days after the date of medical certification.
“The period a public officer spends in quarantine or isolation due to Covid-19, shall be treated as sick leave and shall be subject to the Provisions of the Human Resource Policy and procedures Manual for the Public Service(May,2016),” read the document.
The service has also made discrimination and stigmatization an offence and has guaranteed those affected with the virus to receive adequate access to mental health and psychosocial supported offered by the government.
The new directives targeting the Public Services come at a time when Kenyans have increasingly shown lack of strict observance of the issued guidelines even as the number of positive Covid-19 cases skyrocket to 13,771 and leaving 238 dead as of today.
SEE ALSO: Working from home could be blessing in disguise for persons with disabilities
Principal Secretaries/ Accounting Officers will be personally responsible for effective enforcement and compliance of the current guidelines and any future directives issued to mitigate the spread of Covid-19.

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Uhuru convenes summit to review rising Covid-19 cases: The Standard

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President Uhuru Kenyatta (pictured) will on Friday, July 24, meet governors following the ballooning Covid-19 infections in recent days.
The session will among other things review the efficacy of the containment measures in place and review the impact of the phased easing of the restrictions, State House said in a statement.
This story is being updated.
SEE ALSO: Sakaja resigns from Covid-19 Senate committee, in court tomorrow

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Drastic life changes affecting mental health

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Kenya has been ranked 6th among African countries with the highest cases of depression, this has triggered anxiety by the World Health Organization (WHO), with 1.9 million people suffering from a form of mental conditions such as depression, substance abuse.

KBC Radio_KICD Timetable

Globally, one in four people is affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives, this is according to the WHO.

Currently, around 450 million people suffer from such conditions, placing mental disorders among the leading causes of ill-health and disability worldwide.

The pandemic has also been known to cause significant distress, mostly affecting the state of one’s mental well-being.

Get breaking news on your Mobile as-it-happens. SMS ‘NEWS’ to 20153

With the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic attributed to the novel Coronavirus disease, millions have been affected globally with over 14 million infections and half a million deaths as to date. This has brought about uncertainty coupled with difficult situations, including job loss and the risk of contracting the deadly virus.

In Kenya the first Coronavirus case was reported in Nairobi by the Ministry of Health on the 12th March 2020.  It was not until the government put in place precautionary measures including a curfew and lockdown (the latter having being lifted) due to an increase in the number of infections that people began feeling its effect both economically and socially.

A study by Dr. Habil Otanga,  a Lecturer at the University of Nairobi, Department of Psychology says  that such measures can in turn lead to surge in mental related illnesses including depression, feelings of confusion, anger and fear, and even substance abuse. It also brings with it a sense of boredom, loneliness, anger, isolation and frustration. In the post-quarantine/isolation period, loss of employment due to the depressed economy and the stigma around the disease are also likely to lead to mental health problems.

The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) states that at least 300,000 Kenyans have lost their jobs due to the Coronavirus pandemic between the period of January and March this year.

KNBC noted that the number of employed Kenyans plunged to 17.8 million as of March from 18.1 million people as compared to last year in December. The Report states that the unemployment rate in Kenya stands at 13.7 per cent as of March this year while it stood 12.4 per cent in December 2019.

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Mama T (not her real name) is among millions of Kenyans who have been affected by containment measures put in place to curb the spread of the virus, either by losing their source of income or having to work under tough guidelines put in place by the MOH.

As young mother and an event organizer, she has found it hard to explain to her children why they cannot go to school or socialize freely with their peers as before.

“Sometimes it gets difficult as they do not understand what is happening due to their age, this at times becomes hard on me as they often think I am punishing them,”

Her contract was put on hold as no event or public gatherings can take place due to the pandemic. This has brought other challenges along with it, as she has to find means of fending for her family expenditures that including rent and food.

“I often wake up in the middle of the night with worries about my next move as the pandemic does not exhibit any signs of easing up,” she says. She adds that she has been forced to sort for manual jobs to keep her family afloat.

Ms. Mary Wahome, a Counseling Psychologist and Programs Director at ‘The Reason to Hope,’ in Karen, Nairobi says that such kind of drastic life changes have an adverse effect on one’s mental status including their family members and if not addressed early can lead to depression among other issues.

“We have had cases of people indulging in substance abuse to deal with the uncertainty and stress brought about by the pandemic, this in turn leads to dependence and also domestic abuse,”

Sam Njoroge , a waiter at a local hotel in Kiambu, has found himself indulging in substance abuse due to challenges he is facing after the hotel he was working in was closed down as it has not yet met the standards required by the MOH to open.

“My day starts at 6am where I go to a local pub, here I can get a drink for as little as Sh30, It makes me suppress the frustration I feel.” he says.

Sam is among the many who have found themselves in the same predicament and resulted to substance abuse finding ways to beat strict measures put in place by the government on the sale of alcohol so as to cope.

Mary says, situations like Sam’s are dangerous and if not addressed early can lead to serious complications, including addiction and dependency, violent behavior and also early death due to health complications.

She has, however, lauded the government for encouraging mental wellness and also launching the Psychological First Aid (PFA) guide in the wake of the virus putting emphasis on the three action principal of look, listen and link. “When we follow this it will be easy to identify an individual in distress and also offer assistance”.

Mary has urged anyone feeling the weight of the virus taking a toll on them not to hesitate but look for someone to talk to.

“You should not only seek help from a specialist but also talk to a friend, let them know what you are undergoing and how you feel, this will help ease their emotional stress and also find ways of dealing with the situation they are facing,” She added

Mary continued to stress on the need to perform frequent body exercises as a form of stress relief, reading and also taking advantage of this unfortunate COVID-19 period to engage in hobbies and talent development.

“Let people take this as an opportunity to kip fit, get in touch with one’s inner self and  also engage in   reading that would  help expand their knowledge.

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