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I have to pay to urinate: My life without kidneys

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By JUDITH GICOBI

Many people aim to get material things and power in life, but for 37-year-old Emmanuel Gitau from Mugumo, Kiambu County says he would wish to go for a short call in a usual way before he dies.

Emmanuel is living his life under dialysis. “I have to pay to urinate. So I go for dialysis twice a Week-Tuesday and Friday-five hours per session,” he says.

Dialysis is an alternative way of removing body waste and excess fluids in a case where the kidneys fail. 

He is a caterer by profession, where he sells Crips to make a living. Gitau was first diagnosed with kidney disease when he was a teenager.

Before the kidney failure, he could manage the condition by regular hospital visits, special diets and medication. His condition worsened, and the doctors realized when it was too late, the kidneys were failing in 2001. 

His parents have donated their kidneys, but they failed a few hours after the transplants, his sister’s kidney worked for seven months before failing. 

“My father later passed away as his kidney kept deteriorating, but we had remained hopeful as he was also on dialysis just like me, He said.

Dialysis helps in prolonging survival, but it’s also a burden because of traveling to a clinic twice a week.

“A dialysis is a life-changing event, it is a very demanding form of treatment. It involves medical issues, spiritual issues, quality of life. It’s a big decision,” he says.

Having to live without a kidney now, Gitau has to deal with permanent dialysis.

He had written a book “My life without kidneys,” a book about his life that he hopes to sell and earn daily bread and also be an inspiration to Kenyans.

 

READ ALSO:   ‘When I think about what I went through 2 years ago…’ Kawira says as she raises 12m medical bill

Gitau’s prayer is to get a deep-fryer (it costs Sh95,000) to be able to expand his potato crisp business and get money to cater for his medication.

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Health

Why Esther Passaris wants abortion legalized in Kenya

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By JUDITH GICOBI

Esther Passaris, Nairobi Woman Representative, is advocating for abortion to be legalized in Kenya.

She was speaking at the 9th Africa Conference on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) in Nairobi. Esther says women should have the choice whether to end a pregnancy or not.

Problem being, many Kenyan women, mainly those from the slums use abortion as a way of family planning which is still illegal in the country meaning they procure the backstreet abortions which result to many deaths and remorseless disposal of fetuses.

“They should not give birth to children to suffer. They should not have children they cannot take care of,” said Passaris.

She added: “I’m for pro-choice. Let the women procure abortion early in pregnancy if they don’t want to have the child.”

READ ALSO:   ‘When I think about what I went through 2 years ago…’ Kawira says as she raises 12m medical bill
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Kenya’s Ambassador to China asks for prayers for Kenyans in Wuhan city

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Kenya’s Ambassador to China, Sarah Serem, has expressed fear over the lives of Kenyan students trapped in Wuhan city where the Coronavirus infection started.

Serem said more than 100 students are trapped in the city and are unable to come out over health risks associated with the virus that has so far claimed the lives of 1,776 people.

Speaking to Citizen TV on Monday, the ambassador asked Kenyans to pray for the students.

“Going through the daily updates on the impact of Coronavirus pandemic, reading the number of infections, number of deaths, those in critical condition and in Wuhan where I have close to a 100 students, sends a chill down my spine,” said Serem.

The Covid-19 was discovered in China’s city of Wuhan in late December 2019 and has so far infected 71,337. According to statics from Wolrdometer 11,147 people have recovered from the deadly virus.

President Uhuru Kenyatta had on February 6, 2020, while in the US, said the government had plans to evacuate Kenyans stuck in Wuhan city.

However, barely a day later, Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary, Macharia Kamau, and former Health Cabinet Secretary, Sicily Kariuki, said Kenyan students in China were safe, and ruled out the possibility of evacuating them.

READ ALSO:   ‘When I think about what I went through 2 years ago…’ Kawira says as she raises 12m medical bill

Last week the Ministry of Health announced that the country had two new testing facilities to test the Coronavirus.

Laboratories at the National Influenza Centre hosted at the National Public Health Laboratories and Kenya Medical Research Institute (Kemri) will begin testing samples, Acting Director-General of Health Patrick Amoth said.

Previously, the country was sending samples to South Africa for testing.

By NN

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Health

Divorced men are more prone to obesity and hypertension

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Divorced, separated or widowed men are at highest risk of heart attack.

A study at the St Mary’s Mission Hospital shows this group of men have high rates of obesity, hypertension, high blood sugar and bad cholesterol compared to those who are married.

People with these health conditions – collectively called Metabolic Syndrome or MetS, the study says, have twice the likelihood of developing and dying from heart diseases.

They are also more than seven times at risk of developing diabetes, compared to those without MetS.

While being divorced, separated or widowed was generally found bad for the health of both genders, the study shows men are faring much worse than women.

The report which involved 404 patients attending the hypertension and diabetes clinic at the hospital, suggests men cope poorly after loss of a partner than women.

Unlike women, the study says it is hard for men to adopt healthy behaviours such as cooking and eating healthy foods in their homes? (Shutterstock)

Metabolic syndrome

The clinic attends to about 600 patients a month. Of the study participants about 82 per cent suffered metabolic syndrome.

“Marital status was shown as an important predictor of MetS … especially in men, with those divorced, separated, widowed being at higher risk,” says the study published last Saturday in the journal of High Blood Pressure & Cardiovascular Prevention.

READ ALSO:   ‘When I think about what I went through 2 years ago…’ Kawira says as she raises 12m medical bill

Unlike women, the study says it is hard for men to adopt healthy behaviours such as cooking and eating healthy foods in their homes.

Instead they are likely to prefer eating restaurant prepared meals most likely containing processed and fast food associated with MetS.

In contrast, married men who live with their spouses have better health behaviour thus protecting them from MetS.

Abdominal or central obesity is characterised by large waistlines and more common in men than women (Shutterstock)

Health benefits

Indeed, marriage, the authors say is associated with many health benefits including decreased cardiovascular diseases and deaths.

“Lack of marital relationships may cause stress, a precursor for MetS,” says the study led by Okubatsion Tekeste Okube of the Catholic University of Eastern Africa.

Slightly more than a half, 50.5 per cent of study respondents reported being stressed.

“Our findings also showed respondents who had stress were more likely to develop high blood pressure and high blood sugar compared to those without stress.”

Of those who had stress, a majority, 54.4 per cent, reported the main cause being financial problems. This involved lack of finances, being laid off and the threat of unemployment.

Almost 40 per cent reported being stressed due to social issues including ongoing difficulties in close relationships, divorce or separation.

READ ALSO:   ‘When I think about what I went through 2 years ago…’ Kawira says as she raises 12m medical bill

The study also involving Dr Samuel T Kimani and Dr Waithira Mirie of the University of Nairobi found high rates of abdominal obesity in the study group.

Abdominal or central obesity is characterised by large waistlines and more common in men than women. In women, the excess fat is likely to be deposited in the hips.

This, the authors say puts men at higher risk of developing chronic diseases compared to women. “This is because abdominal fat is easily mobilised into blood vessels leading to type-2 diabetes and heart events compared to hip fat.”

The better earning men, the report say are at high risk because they are likely to consume unhealthy foods (Shutterstock)

But even among men, these conditions were seen to affect various categories differently.

Employed men, earning over Sh30,000 per month were at higher risk of MetS, compared to males earning less.

“Our findings revealed that employed men in particular and those with higher monthly income were more likely to develop MetS,” says the study.

The better earning men, the report say are at high risk because they are likely to consume unhealthy foods – salty, sugary and processed items – and a sedentary lifestyle.

On the other hand, poorer men were more likely to be involved in physically demanding activities, increasing their total energy expenditure, which may protect them from developing obesity and heart conditions.

READ ALSO:   ‘When I think about what I went through 2 years ago…’ Kawira says as she raises 12m medical bill

The authors found it interesting that women with tertiary education were less likely to develop MetS compared to those with primary or no formal education. But this was not found in men.

Educated women, the report says are likely to enjoy economic security and better access to healthcare. The study, which involved people aged 18 to 64 years says for both genders, the older they got the higher the risk of MetS.

Women who had a family history of hypertension were more likely to develop MetS, shows the report. Females were also more likely to have known their hypertensive status compared to the male respondents.

By SDE

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