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Cancer patients facing even more challenges, starvation

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As the social distancing directive takes shape, cancer patients are

confronted with the risk of starvation due to lack of food.

For many patients already struggling with the burden of high treatment costs, access to food is a huge challenge.

Jane Frances Njoki (left), a cancer advocate and survivor says lack of food could weaken the patients’ already compromised immunity leaving them susceptible to coronavirus.

“Most of the patients have been relying on well-wishers to fund their treatment and now getting food is a struggle,” she says.

Grace Wangui, a breast cancer patient from Kawangware, is unsure of where she will get her next meal. It has been two weeks since Wangui underwent a mastectomy after being diagnosed with breast cancer Stage 2.

Donor support

The 48-year-old who underwent the surgery with the support of a donor has no job but has been relying on her two sisters who she lives with to put food on the table.

“I don’t have parents nor do I have children. My sisters are all I have got,” she says. But now with the outbreak of the coronavirus, one of her sisters who is the breadwinner is unable to feed the family.

“My sister hawks clothes in Kawangware. Her business has been badly affected by this outbreak,” adds Wangui.

With the little money her sister makes, she has to choose between buying food for the family or purchasing medication for Wangui.

Empty handed

In Kangemi, Rose Wanja has returned home from work empty handed for days on end. The 61-year-old breast cancer patient, hawks tea leaves in Kangemi to earn a living. But business has been low in the past two weeks.

Wanja is under medication but cannot afford to take a balanced diet as advised by the doctor.

Wanja lives by herself since her children are grown up and have their own families to support.

She worries that with the current coronavirus outbreak, life is likely to get even tougher. “Doctors advise that I eat a diet that can boost my blood levels. That has not been possible. Now my body feels weak as if the sickness has aggravated,” she says.

The plight ofWangui and Wanja is similar to that of many other cancer patients across the country. Jane says that they are more than 100 patients in a support group in Kariobangi, Kawangware, Kangemi and Limuru who are in urgent need of food, medication and toiletries.

Looking for well-wishers

“We are looking for well-wishers to provide dry foods such as rice, flour, milk, cooking oil and cereals. To maintain hygiene during this period, we are also requesting for soap and sanitisers donations.

Any support will come in handy in keeping the patients strong even as they take their medication,” says Jane.

She fears that the current situation may end up aggravating the patient’s illness. “Most of the patients even those in critical condition have been advised to go home. She says that for some, treatments such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy have been postponed to a later date.

Given their low immunity, cancer patients are at a high risk of contracting coronavirus.

The much we can do right now is to ensure that they are eating well and taking their medication,” she adds.

By PD


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Health

Shock as man ‘resurrects’ in a Kericho mortuary

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There was drama at Kapkatet sub-county hospital in Kericho on Tuesday night when a 32-year-old man who had been presumed dead and taken to the mortuary regained consciousness close to three hours later.

Mortuary attendants were getting ready to embalm Peter Kigen’s body when they noticed some movements.

Kigen, a resident of Kibwastuiyo village in Bureti Constituency, is said to have collapsed while at home before his family took him to hospital.

His younger brother, Kevin Kipkurui, said he was present when Kigen collapsed. With the help of their cousin, they took Kigen to the hospital at 5.30 pm.

“When we arrived at the casualty department, we met a doctor who asked us to register the details of the patient at the reception while he attended to him,” Kipkurui, who was still in shock, told The Standard.

After registering the patient, Kipkurui said he was again asked to the National Hospital Insurance Fund desk for further documentation of his brother.

Kigen reportedly suffers from a chronic illness.

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“When I went back to the casualty department at around 7.45 pm, I learnt my brother was dead. A nurse told me that he died long before we arrived at the hospital,” Kipkurui said.

He added: “The nurse later handed me a document to take to the mortuary attendant before my brother’s body was moved to the morgue.”

However, at 10.30 pm, Kipkuriu said, as they were waiting for embalming of Kigen’s body, they were informed that in fact, he was not dead.

Mortuary attendants who mummified the body told them that Kigen had regained consciousness.

“The mortician called me into the morgue and we saw him make movements. We were shocked. We could not understand how they could move a person who is still alive into the mortuary,” Kipkurui said.

Kigen, who spoke from his hospital bed yesterday, said he was shocked to learn that he was thought to have died and even taken to the mortuary.

“I cannot believe what just happened. How did they establish that I was dead?” he said.

Kirui, who donned his light-blue hospital uniform, was nevertheless happy to be alive and vowed to dedicate his life to evangelism once he’s discharged from hospital.

“I did not even know where I was when I regained consciousness, but I thank God for sparing my life. I will serve him for the rest of my life,” he said.

The hospital’s medical superintendent Gilbert Cheruiyot said Kigen was in critical condition when he was brought in.

Dr Cheruiyot said: “His relatives presumed he was dead and did not even wait for certification of death. They moved him to the mortuary, on their own.”

He said the clinical officers at the casualty were busy attending to other critically ill patients when Kigen was brought in, including an epileptic and a diabetic patient.

“They asked Kigen’s relatives to give them some time but they accused the clinicians of taking too much time and decided to take him to the mortuary. It was while the mortician was getting ready to embalm his body that she noticed some signs of life,” said Cheruiyot. He said the mortician informed the team at the casualty department which took Kigen back and begun resuscitating him. The process took three hours before the patient was stabilised.

“The patient was later taken to the ward and is responding well to treatment. We hope to discharge him in a few days,” Dr Cheruiyot said yesterday.

He added: “I advise those bringing their loved ones to the hospital to follow the laid down regulations. Before a body is moved the mortuary, it has to be certified by a clinician. In Kigen’s case, we can only say he was lucky, especially because of our qualified mortician who checked him before making any move,” said Cheruiyot.

The bizarre incident saw local MCAs, led by the Majority Leader Hezron Kipngeno, storm the hospital. This is after Chelanget MCA Hezborn Tonui demanded a statement from the heath committee over the incident that shocked the county.


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Health

Janet Mbugua shares her Covid-19 scare

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Media personality Janet Mbugua has shared the tale of the time she faced a scare as thought she had contracted Covid-19 last month.

In a video she shared on Instagram, the former Citizen tv news anchor said she experienced Covid-19 symptoms which escalated quite quickly.

The video shows her being taken through the nasal swab test for Covid-19, which is known to very uncomfortable.

Luckily, the result for the mother of two came back negative.

Janet Mbugua said that her scary experience motivated her to fight the fear and stigma related to Coronavirus, and will use her platform to advocate for a vaccine.

This comes as Covid-19 cases continue to rise sharply in Kenya amid a rush by various pharmaceutical companies globally to come up with an effective vaccine.

By NN


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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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