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I procured an abortion, I think I need help from a good doctor

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Having received assurance that we will not publish details that may betray her identity, KK opened up about the day in December 2018 when she had an abortion.

She revisited the searing pain she experienced after a man operating a backstreet clinic at the Coast gave her four pills: two to be swallowed and two to be shoved into her genitalia.

She recalled the casual attitude of the man who used seemingly unsterilised tools to pull out a three-month-old foetus from her womb in an badly-lit room. To make matters worse, she said, this was not the same man who had given her the pills.

She then bled to the point where she felt her organs were preparing for shutdown, in what would have been recorded as the death of a first-year university student just one semester into her tertiary education. KK also discussed the regret that has been weighing her down since.

“I should have carried the pregnancy to term. It is 100 times better,” she told theSaturday Nation.

Today, the world marks the International Safe Abortion Day, with KK still having many fears even after recovering from the horrific procedure.

“To date, I wonder whether they extracted everything in the womb or they left things inside,” she said.

“During periods, and sometimes even when not on periods, I experience some abdominal pains. Had I the (financial) ability, I would have gone to a professional to see whether anything remained inside,” she added.

Her decision to abort seemed the best option in the circumstances she was in. She was hardly a month old in university when she missed her period. Joining university in September had given her the freedom any young person craves — spending more time with her boyfriend, who was not in the same university but not far away. When she missed her period, at first she thought it was due to the change of environment.

October came and went. It did not help matters that she was very naive on matters sexuality.

“I called a friend and explained the situation to her. She told me to buy a pregnancy testing kit at a pharmacy. That shocked me a bit: What if I was pregnant? I am the firstborn of a single parent. A lot was expected from me now that I was in university,” KK narrated.

Two unflinching red lines on the test kit stared back at her. Thoughts raced in her mind. She thought about her mother; how she had sacrificed a lot to educate her. She thought about her neighbourhood; the many people who would be shocked to hear that she, of all people, was pregnant.

Her boyfriend declined to take responsibility. “He asked if he was the only one I was seeing and told me to ask the others. I wondered who ‘the others’ were,” said KK.

Against that backdrop, she thought abortion would be the best alternative.

December 4, 2018, was the set date for the procedure. The man at the clinic had asked for Sh4,000, which she haggled down to Sh3,500.

From 10am when she was given the four pills, it was a day of excruciating pain up to around 5pm, when she was allowed to go home in the company of the friend who had recommended the pregnancy test.

She would bleed for four days before it stopped, during which she was shell-shocked, fearing the worst.

A year later, KK is a scarred woman. Her boyfriend cut ties with her and she has gone slow on dating.

“I just abstain,” she said.

She hardly talks about the abortion experience: “You (this writer) are the second person I am telling this, apart from the female friend.”

There is also one lingering doubt in her mind: What if the procedure damaged her reproductive system?

“We sometimes believe that, that (aborted pregnancy) may be the only child you were given. So, there is the worry as to whether I can conceive again. It still perturbs me,” she said.

Hearing KK’s story, one wonders whether she could have walked into a mainstream health facility and requested an abortion.

It has been three months since the High Court issued a judgment on abortion, in which five judges were unequivocal that “abortion is illegal in Kenya, save for the exceptions provided under Article 26(4) of the Constitution.”

The judgment, however, reinstated a hitherto-withdrawn document that offers guidelines on how women should be helped in case they procure unsafe abortions. It provides uterine evacuation (removal of all components in a woman’s womb) as one of the solutions. The document titled Standards and Guidelines on Reduction of Maternal Mortality from Unsafe Abortion was released by the Ministry of Health in 2012. It was suspended through a memo from the Ministry in February 2014, but reinstated by the High Court judgment of June 12, 2019.

The document says that if women like KK were to go to a health facility seeking medical attention due to complications arising from abortion, they should be treated with “compassion, respect and dignity”.

Marie Stopes, one of the institutions that offers such services, told the Saturday Nation that last year it offered post-abortion care services to thousands of women.

“In 2018, Marie Stopes Kenya provided over 100,000 comprehensive post-abortion care services, thus saving lives of women,” said Ms Roselyne Ouso, the marketing manager.

The services included managing complications of induced abortion, counselling and providing post-abortion family planning “to help clients prevent future unwanted pregnancies and repeat abortions to reduce morbidity and mortality from unsafe abortions”.

Ms Ouso noted that from a 2012 report of the African Population and Health Research Centre, an estimated 464,690 induced abortions occur every year in Kenya.

With the guidelines on unsafe abortion in place, one would argue that they open the floodgates for women to terminate pregnancies then rush to mainstream health facilities for further medical attention. This is more so because of a declaration by the High Court that pregnancy out of rape that will be adjudged to be a danger to the mother may be terminated under the exceptions in the Constitution.

But Evelyne Opondo, senior regional director for the Centre for Reproductive Rights — which represented petitioners in the case that was finalised by the High Court in June — says it is ill-conceived to think that women would use rape or other excuses to make it easy to procure abortion.

“People don’t want to pretend that they have been raped. And in any case, termination of pregnancy is still dependent on the opinion of a doctor. So, it is not just a woman walking in and saying, ‘I am pregnant, I have been raped.’ The medical provider — as allowed by the Constitution — will determine that,” said Ms Opondo.

She also called on the Health Ministry to issue guidelines to eliminate quacks who conduct abortions.

“They should regulate it so that only people who are qualified, and who do not further harm women, are providing these services. Two, the Constitution allows for mid-level providers such as nurses and clinical officers to provide these services now. But they’ve not already been trained in medicine. It’s important for the Ministry of Health to expand these trainings and train middle-level providers,” said Ms Opondo.

 Among those who oppose assertions for women’s freedom to choose is the Catholic Church. In the case determined in June, the church submitted through the Kenya Catholic Doctors Association that rape is not a medical illness but a “social problem” and, as such, it should not justify abortion.

“The church submitted that the right to life is the most sacrosanct right upon which all other rights under the Constitution are hinged, hence there is no use for the Bill of Rights where there is no life,” reads a summary of the proceedings.

And while opinions are divided on the choices a pregnant woman has, KK — who has witnessed first-hand the horrors of abortion — advises women to simply carry the pregnancy to term unless it poses a serious risk.

“It is 100 times better to carry it rather than be injured. You can never be sure if you were properly cleaned after the event. There are regrets. It is a bad thing, like you face death; like you are attempting to kill yourself,” she said.

She added: “The pain of giving birth might equal the pain of having an abortion, but the pain of giving birth is natural. For abortion, you see someone right there cutting you up, and you don’t leave with a child.”

by nation.co.ke


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Education

Kenya has the most costly schools in Africa costing over Sh3M a year per student

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The International Schools Database 2020, has ranked Kenya’s cluster of schools as the most expensive in Africa.

According to the report, the most expensive international schools in Kenya charge an average of Ksh 3,245,932 in school fees per year.

Kenya has a well-established private, international schools sector serving both expatriates and local elites, with schools clustered around Nairobi, Mombasa, Nakuru and Kisumu.

The vast majority teach in English and offer a British curriculum but International Baccalaureate (IB) programmes are increasingly popular.

International Schools Report 2020.
International Schools Report 2020.
FILE

There are six IB World Schools in Kenya, all of which are authorized to offer the International Baccalaureate Diploma.

Three IB programs are offered by Aga Khan Academy schools in Nairobi and Mombasa, while Braeburn Garden Estate School, which is part of the home-grown Braeburn education group, offers the IB Diploma alongside A-levels.

The Braeburn group runs seven schools in Kenya of which four are based in and around Nairobi, with the others are in Mombasa, Kisumu and Nanyuki. The schools follow the English national curriculum leading to A-levels and IGCSEs and two of them offer weekly boarding.

Other international schools in Kenya include: Kenton College Preparatory School, GEMS Cambridge International School, German School Nairobi, Greensted International Schools, St Andrew’s Senior School among others.

In late 2017, St Andrews Turi become the talk of social media after its fees structure and menu were leaked to the public.

Year 7 and 8 full board students were recorded as paying Ksh 730,000 in school fees per term.

In the latest International School Fees report 2020, South Africa had the lowest maximum prices for international education in Africa (Ksh 627,798).

Kampala in Uganda was highlighted as the most affordable city in Africa for international schooling with the lowest minimum international school fees of Ksh 67,303 per year.

Here’s a list of some of the most expensive schools in Kenya.


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Health

Comedian Flaqo opens up on rare condition he has been battling

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Popular Kenyan comedian, Flaqo born Erastus Ayieko Otieno has for the first time spoken about a rare condition that he has been struggling with for some time.

Turns out that despite the funny man the Kenyan audience and beyond has grown to know as Flaqo Raz, he has his fair share of battles behind the cameras.

Flaqo opens up

The Internet sensation shared a photo showing red, itchy welts like a form of skin reaction on certain parts of his body.

Depending on the reactions, the welts appear and fade repeatedly and vary in size.

The YouTuber shared his condition with fans in the hope that maybe one or two can relate to what he has been going through and maybe work out a solution on the same.

“Anyone with this condition, how do you go about it?” he posed.

Comedian Flaqo rare skin condition

“Sometimes I have to postpone my shoots because they are unbearable. Zangu zilipotea for 6 months straight. Now they are back…” he replied to a fan who shared a similar experience.

Funny enough, soon as he had put up the post, he got so much feedback, with so many individuals able to relate to his skin condition, to his amazement.

“So far: try staying in the sun for a bit, bathe with warm water after taking antihistamines. To understand your condition better, make a point of seeing a dermatologist,” Flaqo shared with fans battling a similar condition, after gathering responses from his fan base.

Wrapping up urging fellow victims to take plenty of water, work out more often and avoid proteins since hives get triggered by things like particular foods, medication and stress.

By Ghafla.com


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News

REVEALED: How three teenage sisters were impregnated by a shamba boy – police

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Police in Tana River county in Kenya are looking for a shamba boy  (gardener) who fled after allegedly  impregnating all three of his employer’s underage daughters at around the same period.

The girls said the man would often lure them to their farm where he would sexually defile them. One of the sisters confessed to sneaking into the gardener’s room at night.

“I did not know he was having affair with my sisters as well because we didn’t share that part of our lives with each other, as we didn’t trust each other with secrets,” one of the teenagers told Daily Nation.

The further divulged that the man would entice them with gifts such as money and clothes.

“He used to give me pocket money and would sometimes buy me clothes. He was so nice to me. I did not know he was doing the same to my sisters,” another girl said.

Each of the three sisters gave birth to a set of twins at a Garissa hospital on Saturday through a Cesarean Section.

All the three are Class Eight learners and are expected to sit for their Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) examination in March next year.

On her part, the girls’ mother said she noticed her daughters had new sets of underpants but she did not suspect something was going on between them and the gardener.

“I noticed some funny set of underwear which caught my attention. But my last-born daughter kept saying she had bought them with her pocket money,” the mother explained.

“What I did not understand was why she chose that funny type of underwear,” she said.

She learned of the gardener’s affair with her daughters after she stumbled upon a message on one of the girls’ phone informing the man of the pregnancy.

She then discovered the two were planning to get rid of the pregnancy, prompting her to ambush all her daughters with a pregnancy test the following morning. Two of the girls admitted they were pregnant before the tests.

The shamba boy is said to have fled after learning that the three sisters were all pregnant with his children. Police are still looking for him.

The first-born daughter was expecting triplets but she could only deliver two children safely and without complications.

“They all had slim chances of survival, and that is why we looked for a specialist. But for the girl with the triplets to come out alive, we had to agree with the mother to choose between her daughter and the third infant,” a doctor said.

The three were discharged from the hospital following the operations and are recuperating at home.

 


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