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I fought the good fight, says Haggai on beating Covid-19

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Mr Stephen Haggai Opuka, the 54-year-old cleaner who was infected with coronavirus while on duty at Mbagathi Hospital two weeks ago, was discharged from hospital last evening after two tests in the last four days showed he was no longer infected.

However, he will remain in self-quarantine for another two weeks to minimise the risk of reinfection, and also to ensure he’s completely healed before he is allowed to mix with the public.

His healing was among five others in the 24 hours to yesterday afternoon, which brought the total number of those who have successfully fought off the virus to 74.

In an interview with the Nation last evening, Mr Opuka said he was elated to be going home after staying in solitary confinement for close to two weeks.

“This is such great news to me,” he said. “I first tested negative from a sample the medics took from me on Saturday, so when they came for a second and final sample on Monday, I told them I hoped it would turn negative too. One of the patients has been confined here for close to two months, yet I’m going home after less than a month.”

For the close to two weeks he was admitted to the infectious diseases units at Mbagathi and Kenyatta National Hospital, he said, he had been on a daily dose of multivitamins to boost his immunity.

He was also given sleeping pills every evening to ward off stress-induced insomnia. Because there is no cure for the virus, patients in Kenyan hospitals are being put on case management regimens, which include treatment of symptoms associated with the infection, such as fever, coughing, or body aches.

Patients’ immune response to Sars-CoV-2 infection, including the duration of immunity, if any, is yet to be understood, although patients with Middle East respiratory syndrome, or Mers-CoV, which belongs to the same virus family as coronavirus, are unlikely to be reinfected shortly after they recover.

Follow the same pattern It’s not yet known, however, if patients who recover from Covid-19 will follow the same pattern, hence the need to keep Mr Opuka, and any other patient discharged from Kenya’s numerous isolation centres, in self-quarantine for 14 days.

When we first spoke to Mr Opuka last Friday, he was confined to a tiny room at Kenyatta National Hospital, and access to him was restricted to doctors and nurses with protective gear. To get close to him, we were required to wear heavy protective equipment, including a hazmat suit, airtight goggles, gloves, medical N95 masks, and heavy boots.

Still, we were not allowed to get anywhere near him or touch anything inside his cubicle. The medics also instructed us to immediately remove our gloves after meeting him and put on a fresh pair before proceeding to see other patients, where the ritual was repeated over and over again.

Yesterday Mr Opuka said he was glad that the phase of his life during which he felt like a hazardous, inanimate object, was over.

He will spend the next two weeks inside his small room in Nairobi, catching up with his ce there is no cure the virus, the tients here only ceive “supportive anagement”, eaning they are reated for symptoms brought about by the virus, such as headaches, fever, joint pains and, in some cases, anxiety bouts.

For the most part, the patients at KNH and at Mbagathi, about three kilometres away, only get nutritional support to strengthen their immunity.

At his age of 54, he had fears that the infection would weigh him down as, based on currently available information and clinical expertise, older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions are at a higher risk of severe illness from Covid-19.

Meanwhile, Mr Opuka’s family plans to hold a grand party for their son when he visits home. When the Nation team visited the family at Ebukhokoro village in Kakamega County, we met delighted faces of Mr Opuka’s wife, two brothers, mother, village elder and neighbours gathered at the home chatting jovially after news of his negative test was broken to them.

Mrs Miriam Asiko Opuka, his wife, said she has spent 13 nights praying without catching sleep.

Mrs Miriam Asiko Opuka, his wife, at their home in Ebukhokoro village, Kakamega County yesterday.

His younger brother, Pastor Charles Opuka, had also gone into fasting for the last seven days, wishing his brother quick recovery from the deadly disease.

“When my husband broke the sad news that he had been put under quarantine on April 7, I became weak and the phone dropped from my hand even before he finished giving me all the details. I have never managed to sleep since then. I was also unable to eat,” said Mrs Asiko.

Thankful to the media “I’m so grateful to God and thankful to the media because they have been informing us about coronavirus, and they even visited my husband in the quarantine centre and assisted him with his needs,” she added.

Mr Opuka’s brother said: “I thank God for answering my prayers.”

He said the family is planning to hold a grand celebration on the day Mr Opuka comes home from the city. “We shall slaughter goats and chicken to celebrate and thank God for His favours,” Pastor Opuka said.

But his mother, Ms Emily Wamakomere, said she’s still keeping her fingers crossed. “I’m so worried and waiting for the next 14 days before I can regain my confidence,” she said.

By Daily Nation


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Business

Bodaboda chama grows into a multi-million shilling housing cooperative

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A journey of a thousand many miles starts with a single step. A Nakuru-based bodaboda operator’s self-help group proved this in its growth. Driven by the ambition to have something to take home once they couldn’t ride any more, ten bodaboda operators from Barut, Nakuru West in 2015 formed Kianjahi Group, pooling a minimum savings of Sh100 per week per person.

“Being a bodaboda operator is a risky job and has serious effect on one’s health especially if you don’t dress properly for the cold. After attending a seminar in Machakos we decided to start making savings,” said Benson Sigei, the group chairperson.

The group grew as more members joined in 2016. After evaluating their progress, the members increased their weekly savings to Sh200 and eventually to Sh1,000.

“Before the year ended we were nearly 100 members. Our savings were growing and we had to come up with plans which some members considered as too ambitious and pulled out,” says Sigei. With savings of nearly Sh2 million, they bought a 1.6-acre piece of land which was previously a sand quarry.

“It cost us Sh2.1 million in buying the land and rehabilitating it to usable standards. We embarked on making savings for constructing houses which would be of similar design,” he said.

To make this possible they converted the group into Kianjahi Housing Cooperative Society Limited and introduced Sh15,100 registration fee and minimum share capital of Sh60,000 payable in Sh500 weekly instalments.

AmpThe group started the construction of two-bedroom houses in a gated community model.

“Every member now contributes a minimum of Sh1,500 for savings every week. Those yet to clear their share capital make an additional payment of Sh500. This amount does not exert great pressure on the riders since the majority make nearly KShs1,000 per day.

The group then started the construction of two-bedroom houses in a gated community model where four houses sit on every 50 by 100 feet plot. The cooperative completed the construction of the first 50 units majority of which have already been occupied.

“We took a Sh15 million loan and in addition to our savings we bought an additional acre of land at Sh2.1 million. In the first phase, we have constructed 52 housing units. 35 members have already moved in,” said the vice-chairman.

The cooperative has bought a third parcel of land on which they intend to set up houses for all members. Members who moved in during the first phase like pay Sh2,000 per month. Sh200 goes to savings and Sh1,800 going towards offsetting the cost of construction. The payment for the houses is spread over seven years.

by Standardmedia.co.ke


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Health

Kenyans Woman Spikes Lover’s Drink, Transfers Sh1.7mn From His Bank Account – police

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A woman has been arrested in the Kenyan coast after spiking his drink, and stealing Sh1.7 million from his bank account.

24-year-old Beatrice Mueni Mbiu had been on the run since September 8 when the incident occurred at a night club in Nyali, Kwale County.

“She took off alongside her two accomplices but we got her,” a DCI detective told Capital FM News, “she will be charged on Monday even as we seek the other two.”

The detective said the suspect had been positively identified by the victim.

According to police, the woman first spiked the man’s drink then stole his phone which she used to transfer Sh1.7 million from his bank account.

Detectives said they relied on the club’s CCTV images and footage to identify and trace the suspect.

Drink-spiking is common in night clubs frequented by commercial sex workers in major towns including Nairobi and Mombasa where they target both locals and foreigners.

-Capitalfm.co.ke


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Lifestyle

Young African boy creates his own ‘ATM’ that dispenses new notes

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Africa is filled with amazing talents, that goes without much debates.

There have been instances where young people have demonstrated unmatchable skills like a Nigerian man who used pencils to create an amazing 3D drawing.

Young Nigerian boy creates his own ATM

The little boy knelt shyly in front of the camera as he demonstrated how his machine works. Photo: Gidi_Traffic
Source: UGC

A video of a young boy has added to the repositories of Africans whose works have found visibility online.

In the clip, the young boy showcased the contraption he made with carton boxes.

When asked what it is, the boy said it an Automatic Teller Machine (ATM).

He demonstrated how it works as new naira notes dashed out of a hole to the floor.

On one hand, he held what looked like the battery that powered the machine.

His creation became known months after yet another Nigerian kid did something similar but with a different body design that mimics the real ATM.

Meanwhile, TUKO.co.ke earlier reported how a 14-year-old Nigerian boy, named Praise Kelechi, showed off his improvisational skill of using cartons to create robots and other superhero costumes.

In an interview with BBC, the boy, while, displaying the Iron Man suit replica he made, said he was worked on it before the lockdown but had more time to perfect it as school was on a forced holiday.

He gave this piece of advice:

“I want to tell the world that no matter how rich or poor you may be, you can still be whatever you want to be and do whatever you want. It does not matter the resources available or not, you can just be who you are.”

by Tuko.co.ke


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