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Ken Ouko memorial service to be held today ahead of Friday burial



A private funeral service for the late University of Nairobi lecturer Ken Ouko the will be held today (Wednesday) at Nairobi Central SDA Church ahead of his burial on Friday.

The lecturer will be laid to rest on Friday at his rural home in Kamuma, Nyandiwa Village in Homa Bay County, according to plans by the funeral committee.

Due to the Covid-19 restrictions, only 60 invited guests will physically attend today’s memorial service, which will be held at 2pm. It will be presided over by Pastor Jack Ogeda.

“The Church will avail a YouTube and Facebook links to enable those who will be locked out to watch and follow proceedings virtually,” said a statement from the funeral planning team.

Dr Ouko’s body will leave Nairobi’s Aga Khan University Hospital mortuary tomorrow- Thursday 6, 2020, at 10am for the journey home.

This will be preceded by a short prayer service at the Aga Khan University Hospital Chapel.

Plans for his burial at his home in Homa Bay county are in top gear and his grave had already been dug by Sunday.

Making final touches

Workers were on Monday making final touches on his final resting place where his grave has already been cemented.

His elder brother Boaz Olela said the family was not taking chances should they be ambushed and had the grave dug by Sunday morning, in keeping with Covid-19 guidelines on burials.

“We were just trying to avoid being ambushed by health officials who we thought would come with the body for burial any time,” he said.

“We have seen instances where families are being asked to bury their loved ones when they were not ready. We did not want to have such an experience,” Mr Olela added.

The Ministry of Health requires bodies of Covid-19 victims buried within 48 hours after death.

Within Dr Oukos father’s home, construction workers were also putting up structures that would be used to isolate the immediate family members of the lecturer (widow and children).

Mr Olela said this was meant to ensure chances of transmission of the virus is minimised.

Precautionary measure

“His family are some of the people he came into contact with when he was sick. As a precautionary measure of preventing Covid-19 transition, the family will have to be isolated during the burial ceremony,” he said.

They will not be allowed to mingle with other guests attending the burial ceremony.

The family has asked public health officers from Homa Bay for guidance on the number of mourners who will attend the burial on Friday.

The renowned sociologist succumbed to Covid-19 complications on Saturday morning, a few days after being admitted at Aga Khan Hospital.

The announcement of his death shocked his family, friends, colleagues and Kenyans from all walks of life who termed him as articulate, brilliant and humorous.

University of Nairobi Communications director John Orindi said his passing was a big setback to sociology department where he played a critical role.

Mr Ouko was a renowned sociologist who specialised in the areas of deviance and family, gerontology and medical sociology.

His elder brother said the family was ready to accord Dr Ouko a decent send-off in accordance with Luo traditions.

Dangerous times we were living in

“There is nothing much to prepare about because of the dangerous times we are living in. We had dug a grave by Sunday morning that would be used to bury the body any time it arrives home,” he said.

He said the exercise would be conducted by health offices from Homa Bay county who will be dressed in Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) because the lecturer died of Covid-19.

“We have already informed the county government Covid-19 emergency response team that my brother is a victim of Covid-19. They will take charge of the whole process to ensure there is safety within the home,” Mr Olela said.

Other burial plans will be communicated later by a committee from Nairobi where the deceased lived.

UoN lecturers who have died of Covid-19

Dr Ouko died aged 56. His death brought to five the number of UoN lecturers who have died of Covid-19 since the pandemic struck the country in March.

Dr Ouko was a renowned lecturer and sociologist who specialised in the areas of deviance and family, gerontology and medical sociology.


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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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