Connect with us


You could be testing self at home



We could soon be regularly testing ourselves for several diseases and carrying out other procedures to safeguard our health, according to newly released World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines.

This is contained in the WHO’s first guideline on self-care interventions which was launched on June 26, 2019

It is the WHO’s first comprehensive volume on sexual and reproductive health and rights.

WHO defines self-care as “the ability of individuals, families and communities to promote health, prevent disease, maintain health and cope with illness and disability with or without the support of a healthcare provider.”

Self-care interventions are a complementary approach to healthcare that forms an important part of the health system.

“Self care is also a means for people who are negatively affected by gender, political, cultural and power dynamics including those who are forcibly displaced, to have access to sexual and reproductive health services,” adds the WHO news release on the launch.

The guidelines which were released during the WHO’s “self-care month”, arrive at a time when new diagnostics, devices, drugs and digital innovations are transforming how people interact with the health sector.

In Kenya for instance, applications like MyDawa, an online pharmacy, are actively engaged in the business of selling medicines to customers. By December 2017, its subscribers had hit the 30,000 mark.

READ ALSO:   Road accidents biggest killer of young people worldwide - WHO

Some of the interventions listed in the guideline include self-sampling for HPV and sexually transmitted infections, self-injectable contraceptives, home-based ovulation predictor kits, HIV self-testing and self-management of medical abortion.

According to the UN body’s statistics, at least 400 million people worldwide lack access “to the most essential health services.”

By 2035, WHO estimates that there will be an estimated shortage of nearly 13 million healthcare workers worldwide.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom said self-care could play an important role in dealing with emergencies and ensuring better health for individuals.

“It can be a vital way for people to take charge of their health, promote better health service provision, keep the people safe and serve them better,” said the WHO boss.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Residents: We built our homes with blood and tears



David Watene is a man of few words. This is expected of an economist mostly proficient in the language of numbers.

In his heydays, he travelled around the world to negotiate with various financial institutions on behalf of the Government, his long-time employer, and where he rose to the level of an undersecretary at the National Treasury.

Upon retirement, Watene would have happily settled in his Gatundu home were it not for the collapse of a textile industry that he and his wife had started and that would have guaranteed a smooth ride into their sunset years.

As a result, he chose to invest his pension and personal savings on a small piece of land in what is now Langata Sunvalley 1 Estate.

Here, he built a retirement home for himself and Esther, his wife of 53 years. That was in 2005. Their house is still a work in progress, but the couple is happy to have a roof over their head. Then this little world they had built around themselves was shaken to the core. One evening, they received the news that the land on which their house – and 200 others in this estate – stands was part of a 6,000-acre parcel hived off from Ngong Forest.

They were numb. Two weeks ago, Environment and Natural Resources Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko threatened to demolish several estates in Lang’ata that he said sat on Ngong Forest land.

They include Sunvalley Phases One, Two and Three, KMA, Royal Park, Forest View and a number of apartments in the area. The CS said the land on which some government institutions, including Police Dog Unit and Langata Women’s Prison, are built belongs to the forest as well.

Included too is the St Mary’s Mission Hospital. And in what some felt was a callous edict, Tobiko threatened to release wild animals from Nairobi National Park and into the estates while fencing in the residents.

READ ALSO:   Road accidents biggest killer of young people worldwide - WHO

Corruption tag

But Watene and his wife do not believe that a government they had served diligently would make it its mission to destroy their life’s work.

“We were baffled when we heard the minister say he will release the animals on people of our age. We live on pension and assistance from our grown-up children,” Esther Watene says.

“We built this home with our blood, sweat and tears. Look at us. We are now being branded as corrupt individuals who grabbed forest land. Do we look like that?” she poses.

The tag that they can be that corrupt as to grab public property pains Esther the most. She used to work in the NGO world, helping the vulnerable in society. She was their voice whenever some injustice would be meted on them, especially those in the informal sector. “I have been a fighter for the oppressed and would speak up if their homes were under threat. Little did I know that I would one day face similar fears,” she says.

Then she speaks for the husband. “He worked with government finances and could have amassed ill-gotten wealth. He didn’t. Why do that at his age now?”

The residents are quick to deny the adage that they are rich individuals who encroached on forest land.

Some, as we learnt, could not even afford to build their homes after paying for their plots. In Royal Park Estate where 730 homes stand, we meet Omar Mohamed, a former estate chairman. He used to do business in Somalia “when things worked”. As the situation in that country deteriorated, his business faltered and has been out of work since 2017.

READ ALSO:   Road accidents biggest killer of young people worldwide - WHO

“Things got so bad financially that I had to sell off my camels. That is the last resort for a man from my community. Fortunately, I had a place to lay my head,” he says.

Inside the estate, we come across a mabati house, ravaged by the vagaries of inclement weather. It looks out of place in the midst of the well-built maisonettes and town houses that share a fence with Lang’ata Cemetery.

A big padlock on the gate announces the absence of the owner. A flimsy wire fence that can hardly keep an intruder away is what the owner has for security.

“Look at this home. If he was a rich man as it is alleged of those who live here, he would have completed building by now,” says Omar.

“But he opted to move his family into an incomplete house and avoid paying rent. These are the sacrifices we have made.”

In the same estate lives Kullow Ibrahim Haji, a government administrative officer. He is a father of seven, five of whom were born here. He moved here in 2012 and is still servicing a loan balance of Sh3 million. He can’t comprehend how the Government he serves would evict him from a house that still has an outstanding loan.

He has a message for CS Tobiko: “I am a civil servant who is paying a loan from my salary. Let the government know that I used the proper procedures to acquire the property. Ten years later, we are told we grabbed forest land. If they decide to bring our houses down many families will be in distress,” Haji says.

The residents insist the land on which they have built was acquired legally and that all government protocols were followed. They say no deal was done under the table.

READ ALSO:   Road accidents biggest killer of young people worldwide - WHO

Survey maps

For instance, documents presented to The Standard show that Sunvalley Phase I estate has been in existence since 1998 after the degazettement of where it sits, following the issuance of Legal Notice No 44, the Forests Act, CAP 385 for Block of Land LR No 23256 duly signed by then Minister for Natural Resources, Francis Lotodo. Relevant survey maps were deposited at Survey of Kenya offices.

“A number of the residents acquired the plots through employee purchase programmes, borrowing from saccos, public mortgage schemes, Parliamentary Service Commission, Public Service Commission, through pension funds and others from lifetime savings,” reads a petition by the residents to the National Assembly’s Committee on Environment.

Benda Kithaka, a resident of Forest View Estate, says every resident in the earmarked estates is part of an intertwined ecosystem that supports the greater good.

Should Tobiko make true his threats to bring down the homes, the financial cost would be enormous. A typical home here is valued at Sh20 million to Sh25 million. With close to 10 estates under Tobiko’s radar, the bulldozers would be wiping off close to Sh50 billion of real estate investments.

In the meantime, residents here wait for the outcome of several legal and legislative processes they hope will resolve the impasse.

And as helicopters from the Ministry of Environment overfly their houses several times a day in aerial patrols, all they can hope for is that they will be heard. The National Assembly Committee on Environment and Natural Resources has summoned Tobiko to appear before it today to explain the Government’s stand on the demolitions.


Continue Reading


Kenyan man passes away in US after successfully undergoing kidney transplant in April



Our family is heartbroken to announce the untimely death of our beloved Francis Cosmas Njuguna.

Loving husband to Virginia Waitherero Njuguna, Dad to Sharon and Njau in the US, Jeddie and Njosh in the UK, Johan, Jaymoh and Izzoh in Kenya. Father in law to Patrick, Doreen and Muthoni. He was also blessed with 7 grandchildren and many more little ones that called him guka.

As many of you know, Mr. Njuguna has been battling kidney disease for the past 7 years. This last April, right at the beginning of the COVID- 19 Pandemic lockdown, his wishes and prayers were answered and he underwent a successful kidney transplant surgery at Georgetown University hospital in Washington, DC. Unfortunately, he developed serious complications in the past week and sadly, his hard fought battle came to an end on Saturday, June 27th after a brave battle with an infection.

More than anything, dad’s wish was to go back to Kenya after the transplant to enjoy his sunset years. The family’s plan is to fulfill his final wishes and send him back home to Kenya for his final resting place. We anticipate the total funeral costs to be about $30,000.

There will be a memorial service in Silver Spring, Maryland. Details will be communicated soon. Family and friends will be meeting daily at his home and virtually.

READ ALSO:   Road accidents biggest killer of young people worldwide - WHO

For more information please contact:

  • Sharon: 301-538-6156
  • Njau: 301-377-2046

For financial information, please use the details below:


Thank you very much for your generous contributions.

Continue Reading


A survivor’s tale: How I almost died of Covid-19



For the past eight days, Ken Njeri has been in an intensive care unit at Kenyatta University Teaching, Referral and Research Hospital fighting for his life.

He narrated to the Sunday Nation his near-death experience with Covid-19:“The previous day, I had gone to town to check on my business since I had just reopened. I got home late around 6pm, took a banana, and I felt a heartburn. This was unlike me. Bananas are my favourite fruit.So I took medication and it stopped. In the night after supper, we had berries and the pain came back. My wife being a pharmacist, got me some painkillers, the pain reduced and I slept.I also had a fever like none I had ever had before.

The next day, the pain was on and off. I went to the nearby hospital, some tests were done including H-pylori, and the results were negative. I was given some antibiotics and I apparently became weak.I started having a persistent cough with a temperature of 39 degrees Celsius.

The doctor advised that we test for Covid-19. To my horror, it turned positive.That was the beginning of the bad news.

By the time the results were out, I could barely breathe. I was placed on oxygen and rushed to Kenyatta University Teaching, Referral and Research Hospital.

READ ALSO:   Road accidents biggest killer of young people worldwide - WHO

At the ICU, I was seeing things scurrying across the floor that weren’t there, and butterflies and beds appearing and disappearing.

My body suffered and my organs were not spared either. The doctors had to work really hard to keep me alive.On Thursday, I was discharged from the hospital ICU to the general ward. My life was saved.

The last samples have been taken and I am hoping that I am safe from the virus.Though I feel better now, I cannot walk very far, my limbs are not very strong and I am still a bit weak.

Surprisingly, I do not know how I contracted the disease. My family has not been affected and they are still fine at this point. It is very difficult to tell where you could contract the disease.

In my house, I was the one ensuring that everyone observed hygiene by cleaning and sanitising the door handles but I am the one who has suffered the most.

If you can observe the measures, ensure you do before you get yourself in the intensive care unit.

”The recovery path has many challenges. For many people, the lungs are likely to recover, often within months. But other problems can linger and some people may never make a full recovery, experts say.

READ ALSO:   Road accidents biggest killer of young people worldwide - WHO

One benchmark is a 2011 New England Journal of Medicine study of 109 patients in Canada who had been treated for acute respiratory distress syndrome, or ARDS, the kind of lung failure that afflicts many Covid-19 patients.

Five years later, most had regained normal or near-normal lung function but still struggled with persistent physical and emotional issues.On one crucial test — how far patients could walk in six minutes — their median distance was about 430 metres, only three-quarters of the distance researchers had predicted.

The patients ranged in age from 35 to 57, and while younger patients had a greater rate of physical recovery than older patients, “neither group returned to normal predicted levels of physical function at five years,” the authors wrote.

The patients in the study had ARDS from a variety of causes, including pneumonia, sepsis, pancreatitis or burns. They had a median stay of 49 days in the hospital, including 26 days in the ICU and 24 days on a ventilator.Among other things, patients may have trouble going back to their jobs.

Doctors have found that nearly one-third of 64 ARDS patients they followed for five years never returned to work.

Some tried but found that they couldn’t do their jobs and stopped working altogether, and others had to change their occupation, specifically for a job that’s less challenging and probably less pa

READ ALSO:   Road accidents biggest killer of young people worldwide - WHO

By Sunday Nation

Continue Reading


Like us on Facebook, stay informed


2019 Calendar



error: Content is protected !!