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How a slight headache sparked Covid-19 fears and rush to hospital during curfew

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A sudden illness on Tuesday night transformed me from a storyteller to being the story.

It started with my friend developing joint aches, which escalated to a serious headache. My suggestion that we seek medical attention was dismissed outright.

As the situation deteriorated, the nightmare began. Could it be Covid- 19? I didn’t want to contemplate.

Since I was the ‘healthy’ one, I had to calm the fraying nerves. “No, you don’t have corona. I think it’s just a normal fever,” I declared, although from the laughter that greeted my declaration, it was clear my attempt at raising optimism had failed.

Then came another problem: It was past 7pm and the dusk-to-dawn curfew was in effect. I started mental mapping of the nearest hospital accessible from Imara Daima. My best bet was South B or Nairobi West. In the worst case scenario, I could try Nairobi Hospital, Coptic or Aga Khan. My patient was showing alarming signs of weakness.

I took the matter into my hands. I called my place of work, asked for the staff clinic and found a cheery gentleman on the line. I explained the nature of emergency facing me and the man was very sympathetic.

Unfortunately, he could not send an ambulance. He advised me to carry my staff identity card on my way to the hospital and call him if I ran into the police. He would talk to them.

READ ALSO:   Embu inmate tests positive for Covid-19

He assured me that the police were under orders to treat such cases sympathetically.

Now, if there’s one lesson my 30 years of practising journalism has taught me, it’s this; orders tend to disappear somewhere along the chain of command and the officer on the beat is usually free to use their discretion, nearly always with disastrous outcomes for those they come into contact with.

I had the option of using my press card but this would have involved a bit of inveigling in explaining the case of my patient, who was stretched out on the back seat. We said a short prayer and hit the road.

Crash statistics

The Nairobi I saw on Tuesday night was totally different from the city I have known since my early teenage years.

Easing into Mombasa Road felt like driving in another planet.

The road is normally busy at this time of the night with workers heading back home, taxis racing their fares to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport to catch flights while, in the air, the huge planes approaching for landing normally fly so low you almost see those on board.

Not on this night. The road was deserted and, for a moment or two, I was transported to the pages of the popular Christian fiction books Left Behind by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B Jenkins, which describe life on earth after the rapture promised by the Bible has taken place.

As I approached the Kenya Railways bridge, just before General Motors, I saw a traffic policeman stopping a G4S van. My patient murmured a quiet and fast prayer that we wouldn’t be stopped.

READ ALSO:   PHOTOS: It’s back to business for Nairobians

The prayers worked and I once again had the entire road all to myself. I fought the temptation to gun down the car because, although my patient would not admit it, I knew the situation was getting worse. I remembered road crash statistics and was grimly reminded that accidents had caused more deaths on our roads than headaches.

I took the turn into South B and was greeted by more shock. You see, the area stretching from South B through South C and to Nairobi West has been my stomping ground and is one corner of our globe that rarely goes to sleep, not this early. Driving into Mariakani Cottage Hospital, I found a group of friendly watchmen who were more than willing to direct me to the parking.

We ambled into the casualty and found the place empty. A friendly nurse took us through the paces of registration and directing my patient to the doctor.

Favourable result

The dreaded moment was finally here. What the doctor would find out had the potential of changing both our lives in ways we couldn’t even imagine: If he had recommended the patient for a Covid-19 test based on the lab analysis, mandatory quarantine would follow.

Since I had been the one handling the patient, the same fate awaited me.

Subconsciously, I replayed the figures Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe had been doling out in his briefings. My mind wandered to Italy, Spain, the US and the other places the virus had ravaged.

READ ALSO:   Alone in death: Kenya’s first coronavirus victim

With massive

effort, I blocked out such thoughts and focused on getting favourable results.

As I sat there, a man walked in with his daughter who looked seriously ill.

From their dusty feet, it was evident that they had done some serious hoofing before getting to the hospital.

My patient came out with a smile that could light up a Christmas tree. It was an all-clear from the doctor. Turns out it was a case of bacterial infection.

There was no need for further tests. We hugged and back-slapped one another.

I don’t think a bacterial infection had ever been celebrated that much since God created the earth.

The trip back home was easier and faster. Just as we had made a pact with God as we left home, we said a prayer of thanksgiving; thanking God for having the means of getting to hospital, for medical facilities that are near, doctors and nurses to man them and even the ability to pay for the services offered.

We also remembered to pray for the nameless man we had left at the reception waiting to hear from the doctor on the fate of his daughter.

Joseph Mboya is a Nairobi-based journalist

By Nation.co.ke


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Entertainment

It’s ‘miracle’ baby number three for ex-TV presenter Faith Muturi

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Former TV presenter Faith Muturi and husband George Ngugi are expecting their third child.

The mother of two shared the news on social media revealing her pregnancy which is at an advanced stage.

The baby, she said, is a miracle baby due to the fact that after having their second child doctors had told her that chances of her getting another one was almost nil.

“Some of you know our story, that 3 doctors… Not one, not two, but 3 competent and credible doctors we respect, told us on different occasions that our chances of getting a baby were extremely low. BUT GOD🙌🏾 Here we are, 3rd miracle December baby. He did it again. 🙏🏾 Jesus, you do all things well. Be praised, forever and always 💜,” wrote Faith Muturi on Instagram.

She said their third born child is due anytime in December.

The couple got married in 2013 in a colourful ceremony which was attended by the who-is-who in the entertainment industry.

By NN


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Health

Machakos Senator in ICU, woman found with him in apartment questioned

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Machakos Senator Boniface Mutinda Kabaka is admitted at the Nairobi Hospital after he allegedly fell ill while with a woman at an apartment in Nairobi’s Kilimani estate.

The lawmaker is reported to have checked in at the apartment along Elgeyo Marakwet Road in Kilimani on Thursday afternoon accompanied by a woman identified as Esther Muli, a resident of Wote town.

According to a police report on the incident, the matter was reported by the Senator’s wife who said that at around 3am she was informed by an employee at the Senator’s office that her husband had been admitted in the ICU.

“She went to the said Hospital accompanied by other family members among them her co-wife where she established that the Senator was brought by paramedics after falling sick while in an apartment along Elgeyo Marakwet Road within Kilimani,” reads the police report.

Police visited the scene and found the woman who disclosed that she was with the Senator in the apartment when he suddenly started complaining of severe headache and asked her to look for paracetamols.

She added that the pain worsened and she reportedly informed the management who called for an ambulance and rushed the lawmaker to Nairobi Hospital.

READ ALSO:   PHOTOS: It’s back to business for Nairobians

By Friday evening Senator Kabaka was still admitted in the ICU at Nairobi hospital. The woman was escorted to Kilimani Police Station for interrogations by the DCI.

By Standard Digital


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Business

Certified Homes Ltd Free Christmas & New Year Holiday Gifts

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