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I lost eight children before receiving my rainbow baby



A positive pregnancy test can be celebratory news to many people. But for others, it can be a bitter-sweet experience. For Catherine Edesa, having gone through one miscarriage after another, she had lost hope of carrying a pregnancy to full-term.

Her journey to become a mother had started in August 2006 while she was in her early 20s. This was immediately after completing her college education. Though she wasn’t married then, she was excited. Her then boyfriend, now husband, Simon Emuria was willing to marry her so that their baby would be born in a complete family set-up.

“I never missed any antenatal clinics. Unfortunately, at six months, on February 2007 I woke up one morning felling unwell. I was rushed to hospital,” says the 37- years old.

She gave birth to twin boys prematurely.

The facility she had been taken to didn’t have an incubator, and before they could be transferred to a well-equipped hospital, the boys passed on. It was painful for Catherine to watch her babies die while she could do nothing to save them. Worse still, people blamed her for the loss of her babies. Her husband was also in denial.

“I was eager to get pregnant again to prove to everyone that I had nothing to do with the loss. My doctor had said that having been a multiple pregnancy, most probably there was no enough space for my boys to grow to maturity,” she says.

Luckily, eight months later, [October 2007] she conceived again. However, her joy was short lived because she still lost the pregnancy at six months.

Catherine suffered stigma from relatives. PD/COURTESY

Loss after loss

Three months later, she conceived again, but still lost it, this time at five months. In 2009, she conceived and still lost the pregnancy again; she was carrying twins. In 2010, she conceived again. During her last pregnancy, the doctor had told her that she had an incompetent cervix also called cervical insufficiency. This occurs when weak cervical tissue causes or contributes to premature birth or the loss of an otherwise healthy pregnancy.

A procedure called cervical cerclage was performed on her when she was 20 weeks into the pregnancy at Busia County Referral Hospital. Cervical cerclage reinforces a woman’s uterus if her uterus opens too soon before term. “By the time the procedure was done, the doctor said that membranes were bulging and, therefore I was put on complete bed rest. Despite all this, the baby couldn’t stay in my womb for long. Two months after the procedure, my uterus opened. A baby girl was born alive, but later died in the nursery. My dream of becoming a mother was shuttered again,” Catherine says.

“I thank God because nurses were supportive. Before I left the hospital, the gynaecologist who attended to me wrote me a senes of tests,” she adds. After the tests, Catherine was put under medication to ensure she carries her pregnancy to term, but she still lost her sixth pregnancy and eighth baby.

Victory at last Her husband was worried and even asked her not to conceive again. But she wanted to have her own children. So nothing would have stopped her. “My husband was afraid that if I continued conceiving, I would endanger my life. He proposed we adopt a baby. I was not comfortable with the idea. I decided to slow down on trying to conceive, but in November 2011, I got pregnant again,” she recalls.

Catherine was afraid. She didn’t know how to break the news to her husband. When she finally did, her husband was upset with her and equally afraid.

Cervical cerclage was performed when she was 16 weeks pregnant. Catherine would also visit a doctor every fortnight for check-up. She was on total bed rest. The couple held their breath after six months and would be thankful for every day that passed.

On July 17, 2012 she went into labour, and delivered a son, baby Mihacle Precious Emmanuel was born after a complete pregnancy term. “When I heard his cry, I was short for words. My life changed forever. God granted me the miracle of becoming a mother. The best gift I’ve ever received. Everyone was exited. Everyone celebrated my victory. The child also reunited me with my family,” she says.

Eight years after her rainbow child was bom, Catheirne is yet to have another baby though she has been trying to conceive. ” I stopped family planning when he was four years. I hope to get pregnant again soon,” she concludes.


• An incompetent cervix, also called a cervical insufficiency is the inability of the uterine cervix to retain a pregnancy, especially in the second trimester, in the absence of uterine contractions.

• It is often asymptomatic until premature delivery occurs. Some women have earlier symptoms, such as vaginal pressure, vaginal bleeding or spotting, nonspecific abdominal or lower back pain, or vaginal discharge. The cervix may be soft, effaced, or dilated.

• Cervical cerclage, also known as a cervical stitch, is a treatment for cervical weakness, when the cervix starts to shorten and open too early during a pregnancy causing either a late miscarriage or preterm birth


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NMS apologises for Pumwani child birth fiasco, takes actions



All the four hospitals in the capital, which are run by the Nairobi County government, will now be manned by officers from the National Police Service to prevent disruption of services.

The Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) announced this on Saturday after making several changes at Pumwani Maternity Hospital following an incident on September 13 in which a woman gave birth at the gate.

In a statement, NMS’ Director of Health Services, Dr Josephine Kibaru-Mbae, explained that the woman was denied entry into the facility.

Dr Kibaru-Mbae noted that the incident took place two days after nurses began a legal go-slow but added that essential services were still being offered.

“The security guard denied the patient access to the premises in a very unfortunate incident [but] a nurse from the maternity ward was notified,” she said, adding the medic rushed to the scene and helped with the delivery and the patient’s admission.


The agency apologised for the incident and said that going forward, officers from the NPS will augment provision of security at the four main county hospitals.

The other three are Mbagathi, Mama Lucy Kibaki and Mutuini.

“We take this opportunity to apologise to all Kenyans and mothers in particular for this unfortunate incident,” Dr Kibaru-Mbae said.

She assured the safety of the mother and child, saying they were both well and were discharged on Friday.

“NMS commends the nurses who quickly assisted the patient,” she said, adding Pumwani’s security team was changed and a customer care desk set up.

“NMS commits to train front office staff in all its facilities,” she added.

This is not the first time Pumwani has been in the limelight for the wrong reasons. Cases of mothers delivering outside the wards as well as those of child theft have been rife at the health facility.


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All about subdural hematoma, condition Nameless’ dad has been suffering from



Kenyan artiste Nameless has revealed that his dad has been ailing from a condition known as Subdural Hematoma in medical terms.

A subdural hematoma is a collection of blood outside the brain. It occurs when there is a head injury.

The bleeding is under the skull and outside the brain, not in the brain itself. As blood pools, however, it puts more pressure on the brain.

In the case of Nameless dad, the condition had led to clots in the head which in turn were causing minor strokes.

Below are things to learn about the condition.

There are different symptoms to Subdural hematoma and some include

  • Confusion
  • Headache
  • Change in behavior
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Lethargy or excessive drowsiness
  • Weakness
  • Apathy
  • Seizures

The symptoms in subdural hematoma patients are not standard, it varies from one patient to another.

The conditions that influence the symptoms one has when battling subdural hematoma include

  • The size of the hematoma
  • Age of the patient
  • Other underlying medical conditions

Hematoma is majorly caused by a head injury, such as from a fall, motor vehicle collision, or an assault.

The sudden blow to the head tears blood vessels that run along the surface of the brain.

A subdural hematoma can be diagnosed using imaging tests, such as a CT or MRI scan.

Your doctor may also give you a physical examination to check your heart rate and blood pressure for evidence of internal bleeding.

An acute subdural hematoma can only be treated in an operating room.

A surgical procedure called a craniotomy may be used to remove a large subdural hematoma.

It’s normally used to treat acute subdural hematomas. In this procedure, your surgeon removes a part of your skull in order to access the clot or hematoma.

They then use suction and irrigation to remove it.

Results of hematoma may include

  • brain herniation, which puts pressure on your brain and can cause a coma or death
  • seizures
  • permanent muscle weakness or numbness.


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Couple’s triumph after testing positive



At the beginning of July this year, Geoffrey Alemba, a protocol officer in an international organisation in Nairobi was suffering from severe fever. He did not think much of it, hence he suffered through it for two more nights before seeking treatment on July 3 upon his wife, Sylvie’s insistence. The tests showed he had an acute bacterial infection. He was put on medication and went back home. By Monday July 5, the symptoms worsened , with a backache setting in.

When he began exhibiting Covid-19 symptoms such as nausea and dry throat he decided to seek treatment on July 8, with Sylvie offering to drive him to the hospital. His wife stayed with him as the doctors conducted a battery of tests, ranging from CT Scans to blood tests.

The last test was the nose swab whose results were expected to come out in 24 hours. Geoffrey was admitted and put on isolation, while Sylvie drove home, only to be arrested on her way there for staying out past curfew hours. After a tense twenty- four hours wait, Geoffrey was diagnosed positive.

Death sentence

“I remember breaking down after receiving the diagnosis. All I could remember immediately the doctor stepped out was the constant mention of death and Covid-19 in the same breath. It felt like a death sentence,” Geoffrey explains.

Geoffrey was also in shock as he had been careful both at work and at home. He was the guy who would always have a mask on, and was a vocal advocate for social distancing measures, putting on masks, hand washing and using sanitisers.

He called his wife immediately after his diagnosis and urged her to get tested. Sylvie tested positive, but with no symptoms.

After two days, his symptoms worsened, which necessitated him to be put on oxygen for four days. His doctor told him he was being treated for pneumonia and was put on drip for 10 of the 12 days he was admitted due to loss of appetite.

His body responded well to treatment and he stabilised enough for the second Covid test to be done before being released from hospital. The test came out positive and they opted for home-based care.

Sylvie had to prove that their home was fit to accommodate an ailing patient without posing a risk to other people, as per the Ministry of Health home care guidelines.


Sylvie rearranged their second bedroom and bathroom into his quarantine quarters, bought paper plates and cups to prevent cross infection and he was discharged armed with multi-vitamins and an inhaler.

“First of all, if it wasn’t for God, it would have been worse. I thank him for life and for Sylvie. Sylvie has been supportive. She would cook for me masked and wearing gloves, place the food and drinks for me in disposable plates and cups, and gave me emotional support via phone through it all,” Geoffrey enthuses.

Geoffrey just finished using his inhaler two weeks ago, though he is still on multivitamins for an immunity boost. Four tests later, he has tested negative twice and is back to work. After five tests, his wife is also negative and back to work too.

“People at the office have been supportive. I cannot say I have been stigmatised on that end. Our landlord and neighbours have also been kind and supportive. Of course, there is that fear that you can almost feel emanating from friends. There is also this one incident which I find more hilarious than hurtful. I had parked my car in a place where the guard knows me. He came to check the car and on seeing me, quickly pulled up his mask, which had been lying on his chin and took off without a word,” he further elaborates.

Alemba is still a passionate advocate for people to practice the MOH guidelines for Covid-19 prevention. He is testament to the fact that Covid is real; he has a sizeable dent in his finances to show for it. He talks of the need to care for others as one can be asymptomatic and easily spread it to others. He talks with reverence of the doctors and nurses who walked him to recovery.

“Seeing the nurses sweating and still smiling in their PPEs as they took care of us was quite humbling. One nurse told us of how the neighbour’s children run away from her whenever they spot her since they know she works with Covid patients.

“Knowing that there are all these people who stand between the ailing and certain death is quite sobering. If for no other reason, they should inspire you to be better just so you do not unnecessarily risk their lives. This whole experience has made me be want to be kinder and to be gentle towards other people and their experiences. You never know what someone has gone through. Even when they share it, you may not grasp its full depth or breadth,” he concludes.


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