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My daughter was everything to me: Mother mourns daughter, 24, shot dead by lover

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Rebecca Maonga next to the grave of her daughter, Christine Maonga

Rebecca Maonga stands next to her daughter’s newly cemented grave at Kaunda village in Kakamega County.

She stares at the fresh flowers on the grave, a sign of the love she had for her departed child.

“Accepting that Christine is gone forever is difficult. She meant everything to me and the family. Her death was a major setback,” says Rebecca.

Patrick Oita Nyapara, an Administration Police officer who was her lover, is said to have shot Christine Maonga dead at Nambacha village in Navakholo on March 14. She was 24.

Oita was taken to court and granted Sh1 million bond and a surety of the same amount on April 9.

Rebecca says Christine had just landed a job with the Teachers Service Commission and was preparing to report to St Monica Butunyi Secondary in Busia County, where she had been posted. She was killed before she could report for duty.

“She had promised to pay school fees for her siblings, including her younger brother in Form One at Mang’u High School,” says Rebecca.

Christine, a mother to a four-year-old girl, had been volunteering as a teacher at Navakholo Secondary School.

“Everything you see in this house, including the sofa sets, was bought by my daughter. She also provided food and anything else we needed in this house,” says Rebecca.

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She says taking care of her orphaned grandchild has been a big challenge because she is not always able to provide for her.

In Butere, Caren Kagesh, 28, was allegedly hacked to death by her husband, Tobias Tulula Akoyi, 33, on November 30, last year. She left behind three children aged two, three and five. Benson Akoyi, Kagesh’s father-in-law, yesterday told The Standard at his Ebuloma village home in Marenyo, Butere sub-county, which his son tried to commit suicide after killing his wife.

“My son always started quarrels with his wife… he was a violent man. He could beat her senseless after drinking and smoking bhang. We always lived in fear. He had threatened to chop all of us into pieces the day he killed his wife,” said Akoyi.

Akoyi claims his son tried to hang himself with a rope after killing Kagesh, but neighbours saved him.

“He took off after regaining consciousness and is still at large. We don’t know where he is and whether he is still alive or dead. The family of his wife came here and set his house ablaze, reducing everything inside to ashes,” said Akoyi.

He said they paid a fine of five cattle and Sh50,000 to Kagesh’s family for her death.

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Miriam Akoyi, the suspect’s mother, said they were living in fear, which had forced her husband to leave his job as a cook in a secondary school in Kisumu so he could stay home to provide security for the family. “The problem we have is looking after the children. We have been told we cannot be allowed to process their birth certificates until we prove their parents are not alive. We are appealing for help to raise these children since we are poor,” said Miriam.

Douglas Anyembe, a neighbour, urged police to trace and apprehend Tulula.

Source:SDE

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The after-effects of COVID-19 pandemic to cancer patients Rosa Agutu

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Corletta Mwende discovered she had a lump in her left breast in November 2019, and in January doctors confirmed it was Stage Two cancer. However, her plans to go to India for treatment were halted after all international flights were suspended due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Since I was unable to go to India, my doctor gave me some medicine to manage the pain. However, after three months the lump had increased in size from 1.8cm to 2.7cm and also moved to my right breast,” says Mwende.

In August, Mwende’s doctor advised her to do a positron emission tomography (PET) scan that confirmed the disease had spread to her bones.

She adds, “I am now on chemotherapy. My doctor told me that I will go through treatment for two years. It was hard during the inter-county lockdown, and the report that cancer patients were vulnerable also demoralised most patients to visit health facilities. So getting treatment was quite a challenge.”

Catherine Wanjiru, a Stage Four colon cancer survivor, talks about the challenges she underwent to get permits to travel during the inter-county lockdown to assist patients who underwent colorectal cancer surgery and needed assistance on how to use colostomy bags.

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A colostomy bag is used if your bowel needs to heal or part of your colon needs to be taken out following a severe disease.

During the surgery, the end of your stomach is brought through an opening in your abdomen to form a stoma, a hole where your stool will come out instead of the normal outlet. Your stoma does not have muscles to control when your stool can come out so a bag is used to collect your stool.

Colostomy bags

“After my surgery, I used the colostomy bag for two years. Then I went back to India to get training so that I could assist and sensitise colon cancer patients after realising that there was a lot of stigma around usage of the bag. I get calls from hospitals and I train nurses on what to do,” says Wanjiru.

However, Wanjiru says during the inter-county lockdown some patients were unable to get the bags and that some even died.

“Two patients died during the lockdown because they could not access the bag. I had to do something, so I went to the chief and the DO to get the permit; it was a whole process and a file full of papers. But finally, I was able to travel and assisted some of the patients,” says Wanjiru.

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Wanjiru says people often feel uncomfortable when she talks about assisting patients on how to use and clean the colostomy bags.

“I always tell people poop is processed food, so there is nothing to be uncomfortable about. I always clean and show patients how to use the bags until they are confident enough to do it themselves,” says the cancer survivor.

Prisca Githuka, a breast cancer survivor and chairperson of The Cancer Survivors Association of Kenya, while addressing cancer patients and survivors at St Paul’s University Chapel yesterday during their first meeting since the first Covid-19 case was reported in the country, encouraged them to reach out for help.

“We have a WhatsApp platform and we made sure all members are active. Times are tough but we helped where we could, but sadly lost some patients during the lockdown,” says Githuka.

She adds, “The association is a psycho-social group, we call our members and sometimes have virtual meetings to encourage them as they go through their treatment.”

During the annual global week for action on Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs), the Non-Communicable Diseases Alliance of Kenya talked about the wave of later-stage diagnoses and dire complications following disruptions in routine people living with NCDs underwent.

The biggest was difficulty in accessing medication and treatment and postponement of appointments. For example in Mwende’s case, her earlier diagnosis indicated that she had Stage Two cancer, and a few months later the disease had progressed to Stage Four and spread to other parts of her body.

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by STandardmedia.co.ke

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Here dad: Secret to being a good father

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Past child development research often ignored fathers. But new studies are finding that non-maternal caregivers play a crucial role in children’s behaviour, happiness, even cognitive skills.

Today, many dads are celebrated for being sensitive, caring and hands-on. A growing body of research is transforming our understanding of how they can shape their children’s lives from the start, challenging conventional ideas of parenthood and gender.

This is striking given that until the 1970s, the role of fathers in their children’s development was not much studied. Their most important job was seen as economically supporting the mother, who would in turn be the emotional anchor for the child.

“There was a lot of focus on how relationships with mothers were very important, and there was very little thought about other social relationships,” says Michael Lamb, a psychologist at the University of Cambridge who has been studying fathers since the 1970s. “The most obvious of those was the father-child relationship — a relationship that was viewed as more important as children grow older, but was always viewed as secondary to the mother-child relationship.”

Now, new research is showing that the social world of children is much richer, and more complex, than previously thought.

It is not just dads who have moved into the spotlight. Grandparents, same-sex parents, step-parents and single parents have also helped researchers understand what really makes a child thrive — and that it’s not just about one caregiver.

Benefits

A range of recent studies show how flexible parenting roles can be. Psychologist Ruth Feldman of Israel’s Bar-Ilan University has found that, just like mothers, fathers experience a hormonal boost when caring for their babies, which helps the bonding process. When dads are the main caregivers, their brains adapt to the task.

And emotional involvement matters. Babies with emotionally engaged dads show better mental development as toddlers and are less likely to have behavioural problems later on, compared to babies whose dads behave in a more detached way. Older children benefit, too. Those whose fathers, or father figures, are more emotionally supportive, tend to be more satisfied with life and have better relationships with teachers and other children.

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“The factors that lead to the formation of relationships are exactly the same for mother and father,” Lamb says.

Past research has found that mothers and fathers do tend to interact differently with small children: mothers bond more through gentle caretaking, while fathers typically bond through play. But that, Lamb says, has less to do with gender and more with the division of childcare.

Studies of same-sex couples and stay-at-home dads have shown that regardless of gender, it is the parent who works during the day, and comes home in the evening, who tends to play wilder games, like picking up their baby and swinging them around. The parent who looks after the baby all day is likely to interact with them more calmly.

In heterosexual couples, the parent who takes on most of the care during the day is often still the mother for a range of social and economic reasons. But involving dads more from the start can have many benefits, research has shown. And play, regardless of whether it’s calm or boisterous, is particularly beneficial.

“Play is the language of childhood: it’s the way children explore the world, it’s how they build relationships with other children,” says Paul Ramchandani, who studies play in education, development and learning at the University of Cambridge. He and his team observed fathers playing with their babies in the first months of life, then tracked the children’s development. They found that early father-baby interactions are much more important than previously assumed.

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Babies whose dads were more active and engaged during play had fewer behavioural difficulties at age one compared to those with more distant or detached dads. They also did better in cognitive tests at two, for example in their ability to recognise shapes. These outcomes were independent of the mother’s relationship with the child.

Ramchandani cautions that the results should not be interpreted as a clear causal link. Instead of directly affecting their children’s development, the distant dads’ behaviour could, for example, be a sign of other problems in the family. Still, he sees the study as an encouragement to play with your child long before they can crawl and talk: “Some dads don’t do that when the babies are young because they’re unsure about what they should do, or unsure if they’re doing the right things.” Of course, new mothers may feel similarly hesitant.

But Ramchandani says it can be as simple as sitting the baby on your lap, making eye contact, and observing what they enjoy.

“It’s the getting involved that’s the most important thing, because you’ll get better at it if you practice it. It’s not something that comes naturally to everybody. Some people are really good at it, but for most people it takes practice,” he says.

In many ways, fathers are more involved than ever. But the bulk of parenting still seems to fall to women. Around the world, women spend up to 10 times more time on unpaid care work – including childcare – than men.

“I think we’re at a crossroads in terms of how we view fathers,” says Anna Machin, an anthropologist and author of The Life of Dad, a book on modern fathering.

Machin argues that while most dads want to be more active at home, the workplace has not really adapted to this. “That’s where the tension is for men at the moment: between needing and wanting to care, and also needing to still provide,” she says.

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Reversal of roles

Given the financial pressures many families face, Machin fears there could actually be a reversal to more traditional roles: “If you’re a dad now, if you want to be involved, you have to be a bit of a pioneer in the workplace. You have to go against all that culture of, ‘men go back to work’. You have to be the one to go, ‘Actually, I want to assert my rights’.

“And that’s quite a hard thing to do.”

A more equal division can have many long-term benefits. Researchers led by sociologists Helen Norman and Colette Fagan at the University of Manchester found that fathers were more likely to be involved when the child was aged three if they shared childcare equally when the child was nine months old.

In Scotland, a study of more than 2,500 families showed that supportive father-child relationships matter as much as mother-child relationships for children’s wellbeing.

“One of the points we’ve learned is that there isn’t a model of the ideal father. There isn’t a recipe for what the father needs to do or what sorts of behaviour he needs to emulate,” says Lamb. Ultimately, he says, it’s about being emotionally available, and meeting the child’s needs. “Different people do that in different ways. There’s been a lot of talk about, ‘do dads need to do that in a masculine way?’ And the answer is no, they don’t need to.

“They need to do it in a way that makes sense for them, that feels authentic, that allows them to be fully and coherently engaged in the relationship with their child.”

by Standardmedia.co.ke

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Rapper Khaligraph Jones, wife welcome second born baby

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BY KEVIN KOECH

Kenyan rapper Brian Omollo aka Khaligraph Jones and his wife Georgina Muteti have welcomed a new born baby into their family.

Reports indicate that the couple welcomed their second born baby two weeks ago, but kept the news a secret.

Taking to Instagram, Muteti mentioned that she gave birth to her second born through normal delivery, despite having an emergency Cesarean Section (CS) for her first born, baby Amali.

“I did it! I got my VBAC! 11/10/20 12:58AM, After having a caesarean birth *emergency* with my first child(Amali),I had a safe vaginal delivery with my second. Baby Lu

“That was only after changing hospitals twice,switching doctors last minute and believing in myself! Through prayer and screaming during labour I delivered my son. I’m a happy and tired mum of two now!” Read Muteti’s post.

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