BY SHEILLAH CHUMBA.
By CGN TEAM
At least 4.31 per cents of deaths in Kenya are caused by stroke according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Stroke, a non-communicable disease claims over 15,000 lives of Kenyans annually and less has been done to address the problem.
WHO shows at least 800,000 people experience stroke attacks annually which translate to about one person being attacked after every 40 seconds.
Health facilities in the country are also grappling with the increasing number of stroke patients where majority of them get permanent disability of succumb to the attack.
A health expert Dr Peter Bukhala says stroke is a “brain attack” that occurs when blood flow to the brain is cut off abruptly.
Dr Bukhala works in department of Health Promotion and Sports Science at Masinde Muliro University.
He has been involved in rehabilitating stroke patients at the university. “When there is no access of blood to the brain, the cells do not get oxygen causing death,” said Bukhala.
“Patients who have high blood pressure are likely to get stroke attack but majority of Kenyans are not aware of this. People who take alcohol have a greater risk of getting stroke,” he said.
He said diabetes, hypertension and obesity are major cause’s stroke attacks in Kenya saying Ischemic stroke is the most common form of stroke that accounts to around 85 per cent of strokes.
This type of stroke is caused by blockages or narrowing of the arteries that provide blood to the brain, resulting in ischemia – severely reduced blood flow.
Bukhala said longer working hours possess a greater risk of stroke attack saying people who work for more than 55 hours per week have 33 per cent risk of getting stroke attack.
“Broken sleep raises risk of stroke. The elderly people are the most affected since they have poor sleep and awaken frequently. This hardens blood vessels or oxygen-starved tissue in the brain,” said Bukhala.
However, Bukhala says regular physical exercise can help a patient from getting stroke attack.
Led by Issah Kweyu, a sport scientist said physical exercise helps keep your heart and blood vessels healthy thus putting stroke attacks at bay.
He adds; “Being active through exercise relieves stress, increase bone strength and moreover it improves body flexibility.
“Having a balanced diet such as eating plenty of fruits, vegetables and healthy whole grains, nuts, seeds and legumes, eating little or no red or processed meat, limiting intake of cholesterol and saturated fat and minimizing salt intake reduces stroke attacks,” he said.
At the university, patients are being seen free charge as part of the institution’s corporate social responsibility.
so far, the expert says 20 stroke patients have been assisted to full recovery in the last three months.
Luke Mutsami (74 years) from Amalemba village, Lurambi constituency is a beneficiary of the programme.
In an exclusive interview with the County Guardian Team at his home yesterday, Mutsami a former Laboratory technician at Kakamega General Hospital said he was diagnosed with high blood pressure that resulted in stroke attack in 2013 when in church.
“I fell and fainted in church and was admitted in hospital for a full week. Despite spending a lot of money on treatment, there wasn’t any hope,” said Mutsami.
Experts at the university managed to treat the stroke. “I was advised to visit the experts at the university by my wife and it worked indeed.”
The wife, Mary Mutsami said it was a miracle for her husband to have recovered.
“I now enjoy the warmth of being next to the father of your children,” she said.
BY CG REPORTER
Most human trafficking victims in Western Kenya are Vulnerable Groups, an official from the Counter trafficking in Persons Secretariat at the Ministry of East African Community Labour and Social Protection, Elizabeth Mbuka revealed in Busia on Wednesday.
Speaking during a workshop to disseminate the National Referral Mechanism on assisting victims of human trafficking at Texas Annex Hotel , Mbuka said Busia County happens to be at the border and many cases of human trafficking into and out of the county are prone in the region.
” Such groups go to towns like Nairobi, Mombasa and Malindi in search of jobs and good living. Most of them especially end up in domestic work whereby they are actually exploited or never paid for work done.
When it comes to the point of being exploited then it means you have been trafficked because you are not getting value of what you have been promised to do,” she said, adding that some children end up joining militia groups or drug peddlers.
Mbuka said the stakeholders agreed that there is need for a baseline survey to come up with the statistics for Busia and other border towns to know the number of people who are trafficked out of the Country so as to be categorized as priority county.
She warned families against giving their children to strangers in the form that they are going to will be educated or assisted. “That type of assistance you will not know. It is the child who will suffer and may not be able to communicate with their parents.
Parents should visit their children who are not under their custody frequently and the custodian of such children should allow them to visit their homes frequently ,” she said.
Busia County Chief Officers for Culture, Sports and Social Services Patricia Okello said there is need to include Sub County and Ward Administrators to work with their counterparts in the national government to sensitize and involvement of the communities .
” There is need to form County advisory committees at the border points and existing advisory committees at the border points be strengthened,” she said.
Stakeholders in attendance were from Busia Kenya and Uganda. Uganda delegation was led by assistant Inspector of Police in charge of Family Protection Unit, Rose Atim. Others present included County Director for Children’s Services Esther Wasige, Registrar of Persons Evelyn Mandi and Mercy Kithaka from Counter trafficking secretariat.
BY SANDRA CHUMBA
Property worth millions of shillings has been reduced to ashes after fire razed down the administration block and food store of Chesogor Secondary School, Ainabkoi Constituency.
The fire began at 3.00am in the morning in the administration block spreading to the food store and finally to the computer laboratory.
According to the school principal, Ms Salina Nabruk the fire destroyed all school records since her establishment including the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) certificates belonging to former students who had not picked them.
“All the food in the store was burnt. The ICT room with all the computers and printers also burnt down. Area residents raised alarm and tried putting off the fire with sand and water but there efforts didn’t bear fruits,” the Principal said.
He said they called fire fighters from Eldoret town that arrived when the fire has already burnt down 75 per cent of the building.
The principal further said that they suspect the fire was started by 2015 KCSE candidates who were not in good books with the administration.
“The students demanded that the administration provides them with KCSE leakage but we declined their request. We had also confiscated their phones during the exam period and promised to revenge later,” he said.
He appealed to the County Government of Uasin Gishu to help the school in erecting new structures before January next year saying they lost everything.
Ainabkoi Member of Parliament William Chepkut asked the police to speed up with their investigations in a bid to bring to book the suspects who started the at the school.
Uasin Gishu County police commander Augustine Ndumbi said police have launched investigations into the matter.
BY CG REPORTER
Coffee cartels in Uganda are now using school going children to smuggle coffee across the Kenya Uganda border.
The racket involves point men from the vast Mt Elgon region and Bungoma West Sub County where coffee is grown on large scale.
The point men are tasked with the responsibility of ensuring coffee is taken to Uganda through the porous borders without the knowledge of the police and now use young school girls to transport the precious commodity.
The children sneak the coffee cherries to Uganda through the porous borders of Walanga, Kwachupu, Chepkube, Wasio and Lwakhakha.
It has also established that the coffee cherries are packed sacks and then on top its covered with Sukuma wiki or Irish potatoes so that the police cannot detect that the children are ferrying coffee to Uganda.
The girls who walk in groups of between two to five can be seen as early as 4.30am being dropped by the point men at Chepkube market before being picked by boda boda riders to different destinations along the border.
A 12 year old girl who sought anonymity said they take the coffee to Bumbo market in Uganda where it’s sorted and transported to Bugishu Cooperative Society for pulping. The cooperative society is in Mbale Uganda.
Cases of these girls being raped by the cartels have also been reported but the police have dismissed it as rumors.
Mt Elgon Maendeleo ya Wanawake chairperson lady Eunice Jepchumba said majority of the school girls have now dropped out of school and have ventured in coffee smuggling business to earn a living.
Ms Jepchumba said the parents of the girls are the ones who give consent to the cartels to ferry the coffee to Uganda and in return they get hefty kickbacks saying majority of the girls have dropped out of school.
“Last Friday a 12 year old girl from Chesiro primary school was defiled a man who has two wives when she coming from Uganda. She had been sent by her parents to sell coffee and on coming back at 7.00pm, the man hijacked him and spent the whole night with her. The girl is mentally challenged,” she said.
The suspect by the name Pius Wanyama has since escaped to Uganda but Cheptais Assistant County Commissioner James Namwamu promised to ensure he is arrested.
She said most farmers are using the young girls to ferry coffee across the border since the Uganda cartels pay them well saying a Kilo of coffee goes at sh80 but when they sell through the coffee societies in Kenya, they are given sh29.
Lwandanyi Coffee farmers Coordinator Job Butali said that it was a coffee harvesting season in the region saying the cartels and parents have hatched a scheme to use them in a bid to escape the full force of the law.
Mr Butali said the point men are paid Sh10, 000 per sack after delivering coffee to the cartels arguing that police should intensify their operations by arresting the girl and have the parents charged for child labour.
“If police can arrest the young girls when ferrying coffee, their parents will come to see them and in the event they can give information on the whereabouts of the cartels and the point men, “he said.
Cheptais OCS Hassan Godana confirmed that the cartels were using school girls to smuggle coffee along the border.
Mr Godana said they held a baraza with coffee farmers from the region at Kisongo where they agreed that the parents should stop using the children to earn a living on grounds that they are endangering their lives.
“We have intensified patrols and we are not taking this matter likely since Kenya is losing millions of shillings through the smuggling of coffee. This money is enough to fast track the growth of our economy,” he said.