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Physical inactivity, fourth leading factor of Mortality rate, higher to those with disability

Washington Onyino Chief Justice (boarding master) presides over the swearing in ceremony for cabinet secretaries of Daisy Special School in Kakamega town. Research shows Physical inactivity, fourth leading factor of Mortality rate, higher to those with disability…Photo/Ong’ang’a Ochudho


By CGN Reporter

Its games time and we arrive at Daisy Special School in Kakamega town; we found students out on the field playing.

Daisy Special School admits students with special cases and those without disabilities.

The students who have no disability can be seen playing on the pitch.

Students with various forms of disability can also be seen seated on wheelchairs whereas others standing on crutches helplessly since they are not in a position to work out for physical fitness.

We met with Enos Emase, who suffers from cerebral palsy and cannot sit properly. He is sitting on a goal post watching helplessly as his fellow students are on the pitch playing.

In an interview with the County Guardian News, he said it’s difficult for him to be found on the pitch playing like other students playing since he cannot walk uprightly and his body aches most of the time.

“I only watch as my fellow students play. I wish I had legs to play like them but it’s difficult for me.  I cannot engage in activities that require a lot of energy in order to keep my body fit and even the infrastructure at the school is unfriendly,” he said.

He says lack of physical exercise has affected his mobility since his abdominal muscles are weak. “I find it difficult to sleep as I am always in pain,”

But Rosemary Obiero, principal of Daisy Special School said the students have the perception that they do not fit in the society like how other able bodied children do thus losing their self-esteem.

Ms Obiero said it is very hard to involve them in a serious physical activity since they will get injured and in the long run unable to manage their injuries.

“We do not have trained teachers who can help the students carry out their physical exercise. We urge the government and other institutions of good will to help special schools nurture the students well,” she said.

Joash Bariti is an amputee is from Kabras Centre for the Disabled. He hails from Lukhokho village in East Kabras, Malava Sub County.

Mr Bariti says a small wound that was on his leg developed into a growth leading to the amputation of his right leg.

“I rarely do physical exercise as whenever I try to keep fit by even walking a kilometer, my body will be in great pain,” he said.

David Wechenje-24 years old (Kabras Centre for the Disabled) is crippled and walks with support of crutches. He says there is no a specific place set aside from where he can do exercise to keep his body fit.

Mr Wechenje said there is lack of information on how they can carry out physical exercise and more so they don’t have assistive devices.

However, in Kenya lack of physical activity causes at least 27 per cent of all deaths that can be managed through physical exercise which is the 4th risk factor of global mortality by World Health Organization (WHO).

Scientists aver that lack of physical exercise among adolescents is the major contributor to the increasing cases of diabetes, hypertension, cancer, depression and osteoporosis among Kenyans especially those living with disabilities.

According to WHO, ailments that resulted from non-communicable diseases accounts for 27 per cent of all deaths suffered by Kenyans aged between 30 and 70 years which are equivalent to almost 370,000 people annually.

WHO says that death robs the country of skilled man-power which reduces productivity thus hindering the growth of the economy?

WHO asserts that over 14 million people die each year from non-communicable diseases between the ages of 30 and 70, of which 85 per cent of deaths are in developing countries.

Eileen Mulaa a sports scientist from the department of Exercise Science and Recreation Management at Kenyatta University told the Standard yesterday that the probability of dying too young from these ailments is 18 per cent.

Ms Mulaa said the main risk factors include smoking, lack of physical exercise, unhealthy diets and overconsumption of alcohol, adding that non communicable diseases contribute to over 50 per cent of inpatient admissions in the country.

“Regular physical activity increases strength and endurance, aids in building of healthy bones and muscles, helps in weight management and reduces anxiety and stress,” Ms Mulaa said.

But over the years persons living with disabilities are the most affected in which research shows that disability and disabling factors continue to burden the youth in the country as majority of them do not meet the required time spent doing physical activity.

The departments of Health Promotion and Sports Science and Nutritional Science of Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology (MMUST) carried out a study on the need of school going adolescents with disabilities in Kakamega County should be involved in physical activities.

The study assessed social and environmental determinants of participation in physical activities among school going adolescents with disabilities.

The lead researcher was Ednah Mogaka and assisted with Dr Peter Bukhala and Gordon Nguka.

The study is published Journal of Sports and Physical Education and was carried out between January – August 2017 and launched last month.

The study was targeting students from special schools and integrated primary and secondary schools in Kakamega County.

During the research, a total 200 were sampled where 127 boys and 73 girls. They were aged between 10 to 21 years old with 43 per cent of them being between 13-15 years.

At most 79 per cent of the sampled students were from special schools, 17.5 per cent in special units and 3.5 per cent integrated in primary and secondary schools.

At least 31 per cent were found to be active three times a week with a high number of them being active at 39 per cent active during school’s scheduled games time.

Socially, the students indicated that their participation in physical activity is necessitated by the encouragement they get from friends and peers which stood at 58.5 as compared to family which was 38.5per cent and teachers 35 per cent.

Lack of proper facilities where the students with disability could exercise stood at 58.5 per cent and appropriate equipments to facilitate their body functionality was 63.5 something that discouraged them from being active in school.

It was found out that lack of adequate and proper facilities/equipment and poor physical exercise (PE), games and sports implementation limits them from participating in physical activities.

Ms Mogaka said they found out that majority of the students did not meet the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity daily, adding that schools need to adapt programs and provide for more structured, disability specific physical activities  to increase their participation.

She said that the students with physical disabilities find movement stressful and prefer not to participate in any physical activity unless support systems are put in place to ease their movement.

Dr Peter Bukhala, a scientist with specialty in sports disability asked Education Cabinet Secretary Amb. Amina Mohamed to ensure all schools in the country have appropriate facilities and equipments designed for students with disability to ensure they do physical exercise daily.

“Equipments and facilities used by adolescents with disabilities can be specifically designed for the type of disability or adapted from the existing ones to allow an individual engage in physical activity that is not possible with normal provision,” he said.

“There is need for increased awareness and training among family members and teachers to increase support and advocacy on the importance of students and adults with disability to be involved in physical activities,” said Bukhala.



Construction works of Sh1.5billion University kicks off at Kakuma refugee camp

MMUST Vice Chancellor Prof Fredrick Otieno flanked by DVC Academics and Student Affairs Prof Josephine Ngaira. The university recently graduated 220 refugees with diplomas and certifcates at Kakuma refugee camp..Photo/Ong'ang'a Ochuodho


By CGN Reporter

The construction of the Sh1.5 billion Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology (Mmust) Turkana West University College at Kakuma refugee camp has begun.

Kakuma, the largest refugee camp in the country has over 194,000 refugees but a paltry 3 per cent of the population has formal education according to MMUST coordinator for Kakuma Centre for Refugee Studies, Ronald Michieka.

The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHRC), MMUST, Danish Refugee Council, Lutheran World and the County Government of Turkana are raising money towards the erection of the university.

This is to ensure that the construction does not stop on the way.

Already, phase one for the construction of the university was commissioned yesterday by Turkana deputy governor Peter Lotethiro.

They are also partnering other institutions like the University of Geneva and Columbia University, Windle Trust Kenya and Jesuit Refugee Services to raise the money needed.

In an interview with the County Guardian News, Dr Bob Mbori, MMUST director of Public Communications said the County Government of Turkana has already given 100 acres of land where construction for administration and tuition block has started.

Dr Mbori said Turkana West University Campus will be will be a constituent college of MMUST once gazetted and the over 1,000 students are expected to be admitted next year.

MMUST has a satellite campus inside Kakuma refugee camp and recently, they graduated over 220 refugees with diplomas and certificates in primary education and social work.

During the ground breaking ceremony, UNHRC Country Representative Raouf Mazou said the university will offer degree and diploma programs to the refugees and the local community.

Mr Raouf said the courses will be organized and taught by Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology, which has been offering diploma and certificate programs at MMUST Kakuma refugee campus.

“The collaboration between international and local universities will make higher education accessible and affordable to more refugees and the natives,” Mr Raouf said.

MMUST Chancellor Dr Peter Muthoka said they will work with UNHCR and education partners to ensure refugees at Kakuma access affordable education.

The institutions Vice Chancellor Prof Fredrick Otieno they are putting up two tuition blocks, a library that will also be accessed by the local community, engineering laboratories for Mining and Oil exploration courses among others.

“This is a county endowed with mineral resources, the courses are tailor made to ensure once we release the graduands to the market, they will get jobs immediately around,” said Prof Otieno.

“Only one percent of refugees attain university education and tertiary education as compared to the global average of 34 per cent. MMUST is committed to close the gap by bringing education near to the refugees,” he said.

MMUST has another constituent college in Lodwar town, Turkana University College which is 120km away from Kakuma refugee campus.

The university has been having a satellite campus inside the refugee camp since 2015 and a week ago they graduated the first batch of over 220 refugees with diplomas and certificate courses in three disciplines.

According to MMUST deputy vice chancellor for Academics and Students Affairs Prof Josephine Ngaira, the over 220 graduands took certificate courses in Teacher Education, Social Work and Community Development and Community Health and Development.

Prof Ngaira said other graduands did Diploma courses in Criminology and Criminal Studies and Community Health, Primary Education and Diploma in Early Childhood Development and Education (ECDE).

She said the courses were tailor-made for the refugees needs, adding the courses are for immediate value to them.

“It’s difficult to get teachers at refugee camps. The lecturers at Kakuma refugee campus sacrificed a lot by leaving their families behind to go a hardship place and equip the refugees with knowledge and skills,” Ms Ngaira said.

On the other hand, UNHCR estimates that more than 3.5million refugee children aged 5-17 years do not have formal education.

UNHCR has 17.2million refugees under their care where a half of them are children.

UNHCR report shows that children and docents out of school are located in Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lebanon, Pakistan and Turkey.

In Kenya, there are two main refugee camps at Daadab that hosts over 320,000 refugees and Kakuma that has 194,000 refugees.



Long serving ACK Maseno North Diocese Bishop Oketch retires

Outgoing ACK Maseno North Diocese Bishop Simon Oketch. He is set to retire on June 30 this year...Photo/Andrew Ombuni


By Andrew Ombuni

The Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK) Bishop for Maseno North Diocese, Simon Oketch is set to retire in three months’ time.

The prelate has been at the helm of power at the diocese for a period of 25 years and 6 months, two of which he was serving as bishop elect after his victory was challenged in court.

Speaking to the press today  in Kakamega town, Mr Oketch said the ministry’s Archbishop Jackson Ole Sapit will visit his diocese on March 17 to open the newly rehabilitated ACK Maseno Mission Hospital.

He said Ole Sapit will also grace his last service as bishop on March 18 (on Sunday) at Milimani ACK Cathedral Church in Kakamega town.

“I will then go on annual leave awaiting my retirement on June 30 this year at midnight to my successor,” Oketch said.

The Bishop who hails from Esitsimi village in Luanda Sub County, Vihiga, took over from the late Bishop James Mundia in 1995 at the age of 40 years.

According to Oketch, it was not easy to ascend to the much coveted seat after trouncing four other priests who they were competing to replace Bishop Emeritus James Mundia.

“The four priests that I had defeated in the election ganged against me and lodged a case at Kakamega High Court before being enthroned in as the new Bishop of Maseno North Diocese,” Oketch said.

“They blocked me from assuming office on grounds that I was too young to hold such a position and more so they felt the election process was not inconsistent with the electoral laws of the church,” he said.

The outgoing Maseno North ACK clergy said he was forced to serve as a bishop-elect for two years without an office and funds before his enthronement two years later.

He said the case was dismissed by a Kakamega Court, adding the petitioners appealed the high court verdict that upheld his victory at the Court of Appeal in Nairobi.

“The appellate court upheld the decision made by the Kakamega high court and it was dismissed with costs,” Oketch said.

The outgoing bishop said the Court ordered the then Dean of the ACK Province of Kenya David Gitari to consecrate and enthrone him but under tight security on December 17, 1995.

He was ordained as Bishop at Bukhungu stadium by ACK chancellor Paul Kariuki, now a judge of the High Court of Kenya.

Bishop Oketch will be remembered for putting up 32 secondary schools during his reign, taking priests to the university and erecting storey building in Kakamega town whose rent is used to pay diocesan priests.

“We have over 50 priests in the diocese who are graduates. Two of them are doing their masters in divinity and 2 finishing their PhDs at St Paul’s University in Limuru,” Bishop Oketch said.

The 65-year old Bishop is blessed with three sons and one daughter.

ACK Maseno North diocese will be electing a new bishop on April 26 where three priests will face off although the names haven’t been made public.

According to ACK electoral laws, a candidate should get at least 20 votes during the first round of the voting process to be declared the winner.

In case there is a re-run, the winner in the first round and the candidate who emerges position two goes for a run-off while the one who comes a distant third after voting by the Electoral College is removed.

“The new bishop of ACK Maseno North Diocese will be consecrated and enthroned by Archbishop Jackson Ole Sapit on June 10 at Bukhungu Stadium,” Bishop Oketch said.

Bishop Oketch has also secured a new job in the United Kingdom as from July 1, this year after hanging his boots

He is the last born in a family of 11 children and only five of them are alive.

He sat for his CPE exams at Bahati primary school, Bahati constituency and attended the Technical High School-Nairobi

He also worked as a spanner boy at Mt Kenya motors, then ordained as a deacon in 1979.

The bishop went to Duram University for his bachelor in divinity in 1985 and Haggai Institute of Advanced leadership in 1988 before being appointed Youth Advisor for ACK Western province in 1989 after completing his studies.

He was also at one point the Principal of St Philips Theological College-Kaimosi in 1992.




Two MCAs record statements with police after receiving death threats

Butali/Chegulo ward MCA Kevin Mahelo speaking to the press after recording a statement at Kakamega Central Police Station after receiving death threats....Photo/Andrew Ombuni


BY Andrew Ombuni

Two Members of the Kakamega County Assembly have recorded statements at Kakamega Central Police station after receiving death threats.

Kevin Mahelo, an outspoken Jubilee MCA from Butali/Chegulo ward and ODM’s Lazarus Lucheveleli of East Kabras Ward claim they have received threats from people whom they associated with Kakamega Deputy Governor Philip Kutima.

But Kutima dismissed the claims saying he has nothing to do with the two MCAs.

“I have never spoken about the two MCAs. I have nothing against them, they should stop maligning my name,” Kutima told The Standard on phone.

The MCAs said they have been warned of dire consequences if they will continue drumming up support for Lugari MP Ayub Savula’s 2022 gubernatorial ambitions.

Speaking to the press in Kakamega town, Mr Lucheveleli said they received the threats from six supporters of Kutima who has shown interest in the gubernatorial seat to succeed Wycliffe Oparanya during the 2022 elections.

He also said the supporters tried to rough them up at funeral ceremony in Malava but were rescued by security officers who came to calm the situation on time.

He alleged that after the funeral, he was trailed by unknown people while going back home.

“Following the fracas at the funeral, a black car followed my entourage   when I was going back home after attending a funeral ceremony in Malava sub-county.  They tried to overtake me but a cane tractor prevented them,” Luchebeleli claimed.

The ODM MCA said he was forced to divert to a different route which was unfamiliar to the occupants of the car, adding he entered a friend’s homestead where he stayed for two hours and then escorted home.

The MCA also claimed that the driver of the deputy governor cautioned him against supporting a candidate who is not a native of the county.

Mahelo, a jubilee MCA said they have been receiving threats on grounds that they had gone against the grain.

“You cannot force us to support you when you don’t have development track record. We will support Savula’s bid until 2022 when he will be declared the second governor of Kakamega County,” Mr Mahelo said.

He said they recorded a statement at the criminal investigations office in Kakamega central police station and that their witnesses will also recorded when required to do so.

Kakamega County Criminal Investigations Officer (CCIO) Carey Okech Nyawinda confirmed that the two MCAs have recorded their statements.

Mr Okech said they have launched investigations in to the matter.



Four people seriously injured as Matatu collides with a bus in Busia

Some of the patients who survived the grisly accident along Kisumu-Busia road- Photo/Courtesy


Four people are nursing serious injuries at Busia County Referral hospital after being involved in a grisly road accident along Kisumu-Busia road near River Suo.

The accident involved a 14-seater matatu and a bus belonging to Simba Coach Company.

Among those seriously injured is the driver of the matatu whose legs were broken when the accident occurred.

According to Henry Omoro, the conductor of the matatu, he said they were heading to Busia town from Kisumu when the accident occurred, adding they hit the bus head on collision.

“The matatu driver tried to avoid hitting the bus which was leaving a police road block but it was too late. My driver and the three passengers have broken their legs. We thank God no lives were lost after the accident,” Mr Omoro said.

“The police officers manning the roadblock are to blame for not stopping the speeding bus. It was raining heavily and the bus was being driven recklessly,” he claimed.

The tout also broke his hand but when the CGN team visited him at the hospital bed, he was in stable condition.

Maureen Adhiambo, a survivor, said she was breastfeeding her six-month old baby at the time the accident occurred.

“I was seated at the back seat when I heard a loud bang. I only regained consciousness when at the hospital but my daughter is not hurt,” Ms Adhiambo said.

She thanked the doctors at hospital for coming to their rescue on time, saying she sustained minor injuries.

Busia County Referral Hospital admintrator David Mukabi said four patients who broke their legs were in stable condition.

Mr Mukabi said the other patients sustained minor injuries will be allowed to go home tomorrow when they have fully stabilized from the trauma following the accident.






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