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Doctor in Britain can’t give blood as wife is Kenyan

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A Kenyan doctor based in the United Kingdom has said a “nonsensical” rule stops him from donating blood because of his relationship with his Kenyan wife.

Francis Githae Muriithi said the system needed to change to encourage more Black donors.

The UK’s NHS rules say people cannot donate blood if a recent sexual partner may have been sexually active in parts of the world where HIV or Aids is common, including “most countries in Africa”.

NHS Blood and Transplant said it could look to review Dr Muriithi’s case.

Muriithi, who works as an obstetrician and gynaecologist in the East Midlands, said he and his wife of seven years were in a monogamous relationship.

As a doctor he has already tested negative for HIV through work since they married.

But he said he was told he could only give blood if his wife also had an HIV test through the donation service or if they refrained from sex for three months.

‘Barrier to donation’

He said she had already had a negative NHS test result while pregnant but when he tried to donate he was told this could not be taken into account.

But he said he believed it should not be needed, given his result.

The 38-year-old, who now lives in Gamston, Nottinghamshire and has the rare AB+ blood type, said: “It’s a nonsensical barrier to donation.

“If you lock out people like me, and then carry on saying African donors are not coming forwards, it will make us look bad when it’s the system not facilitating us.

“I don’t want to appear to be a troublemaker but the NHS blood donation system needs to change to accommodate more people.

“I’m glad they are reviewing it, they need a more individualised approach.”

The NHS has made repeated calls for more black donors to come forward because they were more likely to have rare blood types.

It said it would be happy to review Muriithi’s case in light of his wife’s negative HIV test.

Su Brailsford, an NHS consultant, said the rules for who could and could not donate were based on expert advice to minimise the risk to those receiving the blood.

But she added: “We recognise that a more individualised risk assessment approach could allow more people (like Dr Muriithi) to donate safely.

“We are planning a detailed review of this policy which we hope to begin before the end of the year.”

By Standard.co.ke

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Entertainment

Death of festivals dims Lamu hope to revive ailing tourism

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Maulid. Food and Expo. Art, yoga and kite festivals. These are just a few of a slew of art and culture experiences that Lamu County used to dish out to the world and which boosted its tourism profile.

Lamu Old Town, also known as “the island of festivals”, had a splendid array of events and festivals ranging from Eid-Ul-Adhar to the Lamu Fishing Competition, Lamu Art Festival, The Lamu Cultural Festival, Lamu Yoga Festival, the Kite Festival, Shella Hat Contest and the Lamu Painters Festival.

But these events were put on the back burner as the tourism sector took a nosedive.

Coming on the backdrop of the Mpeketoni terror attacks in 2014 that also hit tourism hard, hospitality industry players say the vital sector is in the doldrums and want the festivals reinstated. Speaking during a forum in Lamu at the weekend, hoteliers and other players questioned why the county government has not been keen in reviving the events.

Hotelier Salim Abubakar said the county’s tourism sector was on the decline after the festivals were lifted. He urged Governor Fahim Twaha to restore the events and revive the sector.

“All the festivals that were introduced in the calendar of events are crucial. They served to attract visitors, both domestic and international, to Lamu. We need them back so that the tourism sector can be improved,” he said.

Marketing strategy

Former Lamu Tourism Association (LTA) deputy chairman Ghalib Alwy said the body, in partnership with the county tourism office started the festivals to attract more tourists. Mr Alwy said it is important that the events are retained.

“We launched those events as a marketing strategy for Lamu tourism. Through them, we were able to attract tourists from Kenya, East Africa and the world. This is after the terrorism attacks led to an almost 90 percent decline of the sector. It’s only through the festivals that tourists got the confidence to visit Lamu again. The events must be reinstated,” said Mr Alwy. Mr Mohamed Hassan noted that local tourism was still doing badly, attributing the situation to a section of foreign countries that are still having active travel advisories against their citizens visiting Lamu.

“The travel advisories still play a big role in scaring away tourists. We want as many festivals as possible as they have the ability to ensure the tourism climbs back on its feet,” said Mr Hassan.

Some of the festivals known and which are still being celebrated by many in Lamu includes the annual Lamu Cultural Festival that is marked between November and December, the Maulid Festival marked every January, New Year’s Dhow Race marked on January 1 and Eid Ul-Fitr marked every July.

The festivals are said to attract more than 30,000 visitors from around the world.

by Nation.africa

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Lifestyle

Concrete slum? Why Pipeline residents cover wet clothes with plastic bags

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Though the Government banned plastics a few years ago, residents of Pipeline are not about to let go of them.

Plastics come in handy to those living in flats whenever they air their clothes out to dry. They use plastic covers to protect their clothes from dust or water dripping from the upper floors.

Most of the flats are up to seventh or eighth floor, each house built with a balcony, where one can tie a clothes line. During dry spells, the place is so dusty that hanging clothes without a plastic cover is a waste of time. They gather so much dust and end up looking unwashed.

It is for this reason that almost every storeyed building here has plastic covers covering clothesline. This might look strange to an outsider but for residents it is a normal occurrence.  Enock Mutua, a caretaker in one of the flats, said the practice is common and that tenants do it to keep their clothes clean.

“Here, there are flats of up to eight floors and people wash at different times. Some people have clothes that shed colour, others do not properly wring out excess water from the clothes and if you do not cover your clothes, you might find them ruined or wet long after you washed them,” said Mutua.

He added that when there are new apartments to be occupied, prospective tenants run for the top floors.

Love for top floors

“One is never sure unless you live in the top most floor. Some of the buildings have space on the roof tops for tenants to air clothes,” said Mutua.

He further said that many choose to put up with the “small problems” because houses are affordable.

“Most of the houses here are single rooms, bedsitters and one bedroom which range from Sh5,000 to Sh9,000,” said Mutua.

Derrick Chenge, a resident of Pipeline, said he would rather cover his clothes even if they stayed on the clothes line for three days than leave them uncovered to come and find them ruined.

“Have you seen the dust that is around here? I cannot allow it to go to my clothes, especially the white ones. I cover them all the time,” Chenge said.

He added that they were forced to do this because of insensitive neighbours who do not care whether others have clothes outside.

“The person who stays above you will not wait for your clothes to dry and ask you to remove them. It is up to you to protect your clothes,” Chenge said.

by standardmedia.co.ke

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Health

Fear after Mombasa school principal dies from Covid-19

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The principal of Tononoka Secondary School in Mombasa where 11 teachers tested positive for Covid-19 has died, county education officials have said.

County Education Chief Officer John Musuve said Mohamed Khamis (pictured) died at the Mombasa Hospital where he was receiving treatment in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

Multiple sources revealed that Khamis was one of the 11 teachers who were infected with the virus at the school. We could not, however, independently verify whether he succumbed to Covid-19.

“Yes, I can confirm that Khamis has died. I cannot tell you whether he was one of the teachers infected with the virus,” said Musuve.

Reports from the hospital indicate that Khamis was admitted at the ICU after he developed breathing complications immediately after he was rushed to the hospital on October 15.

Last week, Mombasa County Commissioner Gilbert Kitiyo said 11 teachers from Tononoka Secondary School and four at Star of the Sea Girls High School had tested positive for Covid-19.

The two schools, located within the Mombasa Central Business District, remained closed.

Unconfirmed reports said that a teacher at the third school in Mombasa has been taken ill with Covid-19-related symptoms and is currently in the ICU at the Coast Provincial General Hospital.

Standard Digital has established that some students in the two schools have also contracted the virus.

“I can confirm that at Star of the Sea Girls High School, four teachers turned positive. More samples from staff members had been taken and results are yet to come out,” Kitiyo said last week.

He added: “At Tononoka Secondary School, the number was a bit high, with 11 cases confirmed,” he said, adding that the two institutions had been closed for two weeks.

Parents expressed anger over the turn of events and asked the government to carry out mandatory testing for all the students and teachers before they re-open the schools.

Khamis was scheduled to be buried at Kikowani cemetery this evening.

During the Mashujaa Day celebrations, Governor Hassan Ali Joho lamented over rising infections in Mombasa amid fear that the county was experiencing a second wave of the virus.

“We are seeing a spiral effect in new infections, resulting in all emergency beds being taken up by people who have turned positive,” Kitiyo said.

by Standard.co.ke

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