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More Kenyan marriages may soon end in premium tears.

This follows the latest supreme court ruling that was delivered by Supreme Court judges Philomena Mwilu, Smokin Wanjala, Njoki Ndungu, Isaac Lenaola and William Ouko.

According to the Apex Court judges, the doctrine of presumption of marriage is on its deathbed following changes to the matrimonial laws in Kenya.

So where does this leave Kenyans who have been in come we stay marriages for a very long time?

Well, the court said the presumption of marriage should only be used sparingly where there is cogent evidence to support it.

Therefore, no matter how long you live together with your spouse in a come we stay set up, it cannot be recognized as marriage.

“It is becoming increasingly common for two consenting adults to live together for long durations where these two adults have neither the desire, wish nor intended to be within the confines of matrimony,” they said.

“Where such a situation is evident and there is no intention whatsoever of contracting a marriage, the presumption of marriage must never be made where this intention does not exist. It must always be remembered that marriage is a voluntary union. As such, courts should shy away from imposing ‘marriage’ on unwilling persons,” they added.

They said they recognise that there exist relationships where couples cohabit with no intention whatsoever of contracting a marriage.

For instance, the court observed that a person may have been in a marriage before and the marriage is no more due to the death of a spouse or divorce and due to their prior experiences, such persons may choose to have an interdependent relationship outside of marriage.

For others, the judges said, it may just be their desire never to marry but have a partner without the confines of marriage.

The judges urged the National Assembly, the Senate and the Attorney-General to formulate and enact Statute law that deals with cohabitees in long-term relationships, their rights, and obligations.

This ruling stems from a dispute between two long cohabitees who were fighting for an equal share of a property that they jointly acquired.

The case was first instituted by the man against the woman whom he claimed to be his wife.

His arguments were that they began cohabiting as husband and wife sometime in 1986 and that from joint savings, they purchased a property that later became the bone of contention after he was evicted from it.

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Have you been drinking borehole water in Nairobi? Well, boreholes allow businesses and homes to access private water supply with no restrictions and fewer costs, but how safe is this water?

Kileleshwa ward Member of County Assembly (MCA)-cum blogger Robert Alai Friday morning sparked a debate when he advised Nairobi residents to avoid drinking borehole water.

Taking to his official Twitter account, Alai told people living in Nairobi to reduce the consumption of the borehole water, noting that it has been slowly killing people.

“The borehole water in Nairobi is killing you people. We must reduce the consumption of the borehole water. Please guys,” Alai posted.

But why do you think the politician-blogger is warning people to reduce the consumption of borehole water?

Well, a lot of companies such as farms, hotels or schools will use a lot of water each day, making a borehole a much more affordable option in the long run. Although all of this free water seems great, there are a lot of questions about it since borehole water isn’t cleaned in the same way that mains water is.

Mains water mainly comes from recycled wastewater which has been purified to be made safe for drinking purposes. Boreholes, on the other hand, get their water straight from the ground which won’t go through the same treatment processes as mains water.

Safety of borehole water

Do you live at an apartment? Does it have a borehole? You agree with me that most of the waters supplied in most Nairobi apartments are pumped directly from the borehole into the storage tanks then supplied in the houses for consumption.

Whereas you can drink borehole water, there are rules and regulations defining the parameters to look out for before taking borehole water for consumption.

Borehole water can only be fit for drinking once it has been tested and approved by a health officer.

Unlike mains water, which is actually 60% recycled wastewater, water from boreholes comes straight from the ground making it 100% fresh and natural.

However, since it is coming straight from the ground this means that it could possibly have higher levels of iron, magnesium, calcium or other minerals as well as some bacteria.

Most of these are harmless however, to vulnerable people like babies, it could have some implications on their health, which is why it is important to get the water checked before drinking it.

Treatment of borehole water

Most apartments in Nairobi that have allowed tenants to drink borehole water have been treating it by chlorination. But do you know that this still poses a danger to your health?

Various studies have found that chlorination without regulation is not good for human consumption.

Borehole water can cause high blood pressure

A Nigerian medical doctor once revealed that borehole water consumption can lead to high blood pressure.

Each borehole, if you have not greater than 75mg of chlorine per liter, it’s okay. But by the time it starts getting up to 200mg per liter, it will start giving you a salty taste.

Most Nairobi borehole waters are salty.

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A home that smells fresh carries an aura of positivity that uplifts your mood as soon as you walk in, which is always a good sign.

Smell is one of our most powerful senses. It tells us what to eat or what perfume to wear. On the human front, the sense of smell is more closely linked with memory than the other senses.

This is partly because it evokes particular memories and is highly emotive, which helps us relax and also draws us to particular people.

1. Clean up smelly areas

A funky smell in a home will be  the first thing that hits you  as you walk in. Ideally, a clean home shouldn’t have a smell .

It should have a fresh feeling signaling that  you’re walking into a clean space, says Alisha Rajan, Kenya Country Manager of home-cleaning service, SweepSouth. 

“Dirty areas harbour odours, and while that may seem obvious, the longer you live with bad smells, the less you notice them. Walk around your home to identify if there are any areas that need to be refreshed. Carpets, curtains, fabric couches, and even cushions trap household smells like cooking and cigarette smoke, and unwashed bedding and towels, and dirty showers are sources of unappealing odours,” she adds.

Other obvious funky-smell traps are rubbish bins, diaper buckets, and pet litter trays that aren’t cleaned out every day. Layering fragrances over these smelly areas won’t help – the most effective approach is to regularly clean them.

“There’s no substitute for a deep cleanse to banish odour offenders – it’s the fastest way to deal with bad smells,” says Alisha.

“If you don’t like strong scents, opt for cleaning products that aren’t too heavily scented, and open windows wide to make your space feel cleaner.”

2. Bicarb magic

There are many great cleaning products on the market, but simple, affordable bicarbonate of soda is the unsung hero of the odour-neutralising world.

When applied to messes around the house, this powdery substance acts as an smell-absorber and a mild abrasive that can quickly loosen stuck-on gunk without damaging the surface.

Pair it with other household cleaners, such as dishwashing liquid, and it becomes an even more powerful cleaning agent, allowing you to break through greasy residue, polish metal, unclog drains, and more.

“Sprinkle bicarbonate of soda on carpets and couches and leave for an hour to absorb smells, then vacuum up the residue,” advises Alisha.

“You can also eliminate stubborn kitchen odours by sprinkling it between layers of trash as the bin fills up. If your fridge has been cleaned but still has a lingering musty smell, place a small bowl filled with bicarb inside on a shelf to absorb the odour. You can even add half a cup of bicarb to a load of laundry to act as a deodoriser,” she says. 

3. Add in subtle scents

If you love a fragrant home, introduce scent in a subtle way by burning a scented candle or an aromatherapy oil.

Find the perfect scent for a room by considering what mood you’d like for it – are you after an uplifting and invigorating feel, or a soothing, relaxed atmosphere? 

  • Grapefruit and basil fragrances are great if you want an energised feel, while  peppermint, eucalyptus, and lemon all impart the feeling of a clean, vibrant space.
  • To create a summary holiday atmosphere, light up  an orange-scented candle infused with the sweet fragrance of pineapple, and even rum!
  • Vanilla scents are perfect for a soothing, warm welcome, and to alleviate anxiety and stress.
  • If strong scents are too much for you, have summer whisper through your home with the soft notes of coconut. 
  • Uplift your senses and relax your mind with bergamot. It’s a mixture of floral, herbal, and spicy notes to uplift your senses and relax your mind.

4. When less is more

While essential oils are a great way to introduce fragrances to your space, if each room has a different scent going on it, it can clash and become overwhelming, cautions Alisha. 

Read up how to best combine and blend aromatherapy scents. For example, if you want to promote an emotionally balanced space, combine lavender, bergamot and juniper berry essential oils.

Orange, lavender, douglas fir, and thyme essential oils can be used to support the immune system of your loved ones and keep everyone in your home healthy.

And, bring the fresh outdoors air in with a blend of lavender, tangerine and eucalyptus. 

Other than lighting a scented candle or an aromatherapy oil burner, you can also make your own reed diffusers, or soak cotton balls with your favourite essential oils and place the balls underneath the lining of your bins and in the inner part of your toilet roll. 

Whichever fragrance you choose, make sure visitors to your home aren’t overpowered by them.

“Visitors may be averse to strong smells, or have allergies, so don’t be tempted to envelop them in a scent, no matter how good it smells to you,” concludes Alisha. 

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A suspected Ebola case has been reported in Mumias, Kakamega County with health officials from the county kicking off investigations to establish the case.

According to Mumias West Disease Surveillance Co-ordinator Boaz Gichana, a patient who has shown the symptoms of the disease had recently travelled to Eastern Uganda to visit his relatives.

He is currently isolated at St. Mary’s Mission Hospital awaiting laboratory tests before the case is confirmed.

Uganda has recently reported several Ebola cases, with Kenyan government last week issuing an Ebola alert and called for screening of travellers at entry points on the border with Uganda.

The Yoweri Museveni-led country on September 20, 2022, declared an Ebola Viral Disease (EVD) outbreak in Mubende district in the central part of the country, following a confirmed case in Mubende Regional Referral Hospital.

The case was a 24 years old male from Ngabano Village in Madudu Sub-County, who was referred to and admitted and isolated at Mubende Regional Referral Hospital.

He presented with high-grade fever, tonic convulsions, blood-stained vomitus and diarrhoea, loss of appetite and pain while swallowing. The date of onset of symptoms was on 11 September 2022.

Previous Ebola outbreaks and responses have shown that early diagnosis and treatment with optimised supportive care, with fluid and electrolyte repletion and treatment of symptoms, significantly improve survival. 

One gets infected through close contact with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected animals found ill or dead.

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Men across Bungoma County have been urged to embrace family planning method practices as a way of support to their partners, who have been subjected to family planning methods by the society as their responsibility.

Vasectomy being the commonly known form of family planning for men, they were asked to practice it so as to help in controlling unwanted pregnancies for people to have planned and well managed families.

During an event that was organized at Bungoma County Referral Hospital, paediatric section to mark the World Contraception Day, the county reproductive health coordinator Christine Naliaka said that for a long time now, there has always been a low turnout of men seeking family planning services.

“There is a low male involvement in family planning because the community members think that family planning and use of contraception is the women’s responsibility which is not true. We want to encourage the stakeholder and the community that the male involvement in that practice is key,” she said

Matters on family planning service consumption in Bungoma County among the youths, Christine noted that only 13 percent f the youths who are sexually active do visit health facilities for family planning sessions out of 35 percent, blaming it on the myth and misconceptions from the community on use of contraception hence theming the day as ‘Breaking family planning myths in Bungoma’

She went ahead to urge the youths and the community members to seek information by visiting the health facilities to acquire information from the qualified staff especially on how they work, the side effects and the possibility of switching to a favorable one when need arises.

Moses Ouma who is a youth champion and also an advocate for Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health Network (RMNCAH) urged the youths to embrace family planning saying that as an organization, they have partnered with different organizations including Evidence for Action (E4A) and Stage Media Art (SMA)

Based on the data that has been analyzed by the Bungoma County Health Management Team, the officer noted that injection is the most used form of family planning followed by implants in Bungoma County.

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I am a graduate having studied Journalism in the largest Media University in Kenya Multimedia university of Kenya; I graduated with a first class owner’s degree, with lots of hope that the future ahead of me was going to be bright having worked really hard in my studies, I wanted to get its fruit back

Before joining multimedia university I passed highly with grade “A,” that landed me to do journalism a course I was so passionate about, that it was going to change my life once and for all, I had been brought in a very humbled background, and by means of well-wishers and contribution I managed to land myself to collage thinking that it was a break through to life, I knew that once I could complete schooling  I could get a job and start earning, Until I learned that here in Kenya, No qualifications matter, but only a God father, bribes. Those were the only things that could help one get a job I Kenya, what if those of us who come from humble backgrounds with no God fathers, nor money to bribe Officials at interview, Perhaps we would just be jobless forever Isn’t it, During my graduation if I can remember very well speaker after speaker who stood to address at the graduation Square, promised me Heaven, they said that had a direct job with no interview, something has not happened for seven years Now. I visited the said offices dropping my Curriculum vitae (C.V) but never landed any job.

My Parents and siblings, were both looking forward to me to get a job and save them from the poverty life we had been staying in for over seventy years now, with nowhere to go to, perhaps I could not go back to the village, it was going to be shame, I was the only hope, I had the qualifications but nobody considered me for a job, I wondered why people with low academic qualifications as mine got Jobs but in my case I never got that luck, I was full of stress, When I vacated the school premises I had nowhere to go to, Nor even money to buy food to it, So I turned to the streets of Nairobi with no hopes of life, armed with my academic piece of polythene paper always by my arm I moved from street to street, just to pass time, when darkness came I could role myself in a sack and sleep under a fly over. During the day I could visit various construction sites and be given casual Job that earned Kenyan shillings 300 per day, that could only cater for food, One day as I was on a construction going by normal chores, I saw a friend of mine who we had schooled with drive an expensive car, he alighted and started to inspect the work done, little did I know the Manson under construction was his. I ran to him and greeted him, he was shocked to see me do that kind of job despite my qualification, after a chat I asked him how he got the job and became rich at his younger age, he was hesitant but after a while he informed me that Kiwanga doctors spell casting powers had helped him. That doctor kiwanga had casted luck spell in his life, and that in a short while things begun going his way, He gave me doctor kiwanga contacts and asked me to talk to them to change my life.

Without hesitance I contacted doctor kiwanga, booked an appointment and met him in person, he informed me that I was being haunted by bad luck from our family, and that he had removed it and casted good luck in me, he told me I would really love it, A day after meeting the doctor I got a message that requested me to go to a news presenter interview, and that’s why I got  my job, I  have improved my life with that of my family. Thanks to kiwanga doctors for helping me. I advise anyone with a work such, nor a good life such to visit kiwanga doctors because they have the solution to your problem, They also cast real and genuine spells in the world like Love spell, Money spell and black magic spell among other spells, Also treat and heal various illnesses Like Meningitis, Pneumonia and Epilepsy among other diseases.

For consultations call: + 254 768875707/E-MAIL: kiwangadoctors@gmail.comor visit the website www.kiwangadoctors.com.

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Stress is defined as a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances.

We face challenges in our day-to-day life, how we work around those challenges or overcome them is entirely a personal approach.

Learning to control or avoid stressful situations will definitely make you a happier, proactive, and social being. Walking away, taking a nap and remaining silent are the better and safer options we take. However, you can spice up your stress control methods by playing online games.

Technology has placed in our hands an efficient and entertaining way to drive that worry away. Your phone, laptop, or desktop is a getaway to driving stress away. There are plenty of safe online games you can play to relax and distract yourself.

These online games act as a form of online entertainment and you are spoilt for choice by the numerous gaming platforms out there. There are those that are paid for and others free. Others allow you to download and play offline while for others you just click and play online for free.

I definitely grab the free ones to explore more and to narrow down on what I like and what my kids can enjoy too. Am sure you have your choices too.

I cannot fail to mention my favorite being https://www.culinaryschools.org/kids-games

These platforms offer a wide variety of games to suit all ages, your child, teenager, mum, grandpa, or even your no-nonsense boss. I specifically like this Culinary games site since it offers free browser-based online games that you can play directly with no app downloads.

Moreover, there are no distractive ads or redirects ensuring you enjoy your game totally. The wide genre to choose from makes you come back for more. There is definitely something for everyone. Comic, simulations, sports, solitaire, cartoon, and education categories are my favorite.

My favorite game is plumber-soda

https://www.culinaryschools.org/kids-games/plumber-soda

This is a simple and fun game to play. This game has sharpened my 4-year-old daughter’s typing skills. I have also encouraged my students to play it and their digital skills have improved.

You have no reason to stay gloomy, stressed, and worked up. Grab your phone or laptop and game your stress away! Kindly feel free to mention your favorite game and how it helps bring your stress level down. If you haven’t tried gaming as a method to relieve stress, now you know where to go.

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Parents have been asked to create a good relationship between them and their children in order to create a free platform where they can share their issues without any fear of being scolded during this festive season.

Speaking during a pad drive event at red cross offices in Bungoma, Tracy Mutala who is a youth advocate and a mentor to young people noted that the act of keeping the children close and mentoring them accordingly will see many of them feel wanted, listened to and also adapting good characters and avoiding the bad behaviors that have seen many of them participate in unrests in schools.

Miss Tracy asked the parents to use this holiday to bond with their children to allow an emotional presence between them and the children Moreso the teenagers saying that mental health issues is one of the reasons that contributes to school unrest.

She went ahead to ask the parents and guardians to caution their children on excessive exposure to social media during this holiday noting that they tend to be wasting their time, instead they should direct their energy to profitable events like games, tournaments and church competitions to consume their free time.

She called out the advocates of change and mentors to not only focus on empowering the girl child in the society but to empower both genders.

“It is very important to empower both genders because the more we empower one gender leaving out the other, the impact become null and void because one gender ends up to be more empowered and it will not be easy to push the other gender to be at the same level with the other,” she said.

She further called upon the society at large to take a responsibility in guiding the young people to adopt good behaviors so that the rising school unrests come to an end.

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  • Since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, several sectors across the world have suffered adverse effects.
  • The pandemic forced several governments across the globe to introduce some measures to curb its spread.
  • To safeguard the health of athletes and others involved, most major sporting events at international, regional and national levels were cancelled or postponed in 2020.

Since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, several sectors across the world have suffered adverse effects.

Having spread to many parts of the world within a short period of time, the pandemic forced several governments across the globe to introduce some measures to curb its spread.

The measures include social and physical distancing, lockdowns of businesses, schools and introduction of dusk to dawn curfew.

The measures, which have now become commonplace to curtail the spread of the disease, have also disrupted many regular aspects of life, including sport and physical activity.

The impact of COVID-19 on sporting events and the implications for social development

Although governments have been exercising a safe reopening of sporting events, things are yet to return to normal.

To safeguard the health of athletes and others involved, most major sporting events at international, regional and national levels were cancelled or postponed in 2020– from marathons to football tournaments, athletics championships to basketball games, handball to ice hockey, rugby, cricket, sailing, skiing, weightlifting to wrestling and more.

The Olympics and Paralympics, for the first time in the history of the modern games were postponed in 2020 and held in 2021.

The global value of the sports industry is estima­ted at US$756 billion annually.

According to a report released in 2020 by United Nations, many millions of jobs are at risk globally, not only for sports professionals but also for those in related retail and sporting services industries connected with leagues and events, which include travel, tourism, infrastructure, transportation, catering and media broadcasting, among others in the face of Covid-19.

Professional athletes in the year 2020 were under pressure to reschedule their training, while trying to stay fit at home, and they risked losing professional sponsors who may not support them as initially agreed.

Sports education sector, which is comprised of a broad range of stakeholders, including national ministries and local authorities, public and private education institutions, sports organizations and athletes, NGOs and the business community was also affected by the closure of education institutions around the world due to COVID-19

While this community has been severely impacted by the current crisis, it can also be a key contributor to solutions to contain and overcome it, as well as in promoting rights and values in times of social distancing.

As the world begins to recover from COVID-19, there will be significant issues to be addressed to ensure the safety of sporting events at all levels and the well-being of sporting organizations.

Physical activity and well-being

Following the Covid-19 pandemic, people were unable to practice normally. This came as a result of closure of gyms, stadiums, pools, dance and fitness studios, physiotherapy centres, parks and playgrounds.

In Kenya, people have been going for morning runs either individually or as a group, but this became almost impossible when the dusk to dawn curfew was introduced, making it hard for people to go outside their homes in the name of doing physical exercise.

As a result, many people tend to be less physically active, have longer screen time, irregular sleep patterns as well as worse diets, resulting in weight gain and loss of physical fitness.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), it is important for someone to have 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity per week. This is helpful, especially in times of anxiety, crisis and fear.

Therefore, lack of access to regular sporting may result in challenges to the immune system and physical health.

Mental health impacts which can compound stress or anxiety that many will experience in the face of isolation from normal social life can also be attributed to the lack of proper physical exercise.

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Lifestyle Changes Among Kenyans Post-Pandemic
  • Because COVID-19 returns in waves, the psychological impacts of physical distancing will persist over time and may indeed become accentuated with repeated iterations of physical distancing.
  • Increasing handwashing, minimizing face touching, wearing masks in public, and physical distancing are the measures that have been adopted globally.
  • Similarly, as aerosols are known to be the primary method of spreading the virus, people will avoid hugging others.

When the Covid-19 pandemic first hit Kenya in March 2020, the President Uhuru Kenyatta-led government implemented its so-called ‘partial lockdown’ in which people were urged to leave their homes as little as possible and work from home.

A phased lockdown was also implemented in the country, affecting several towns and major cities.

In fact, the whole of Western Kenya Counties were in 2021 put under lockdown after Covid-19 cases in the area surged.

This life changing event may have caused changes in lifestyle behaviour, an important factor in the onset and course of diseases.

Covid-19 pandemic

Well, Covid-19 belongs to the same family of viruses (coronaviruses) as the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV).

Many respiratory viruses are believed to transmit over multiple routes, including droplets, aerosols, and fomites.

Respiratory droplets moving from one person to another and contact with contaminated surfaces and objects are the primary sources of transmission.

 Presymptomatic transmission is the second type of transmission, in which the virus is transmitted from an infected person who has yet to develop symptoms to another person.

Covid-19 preventive measures

To curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, the government through the ministry of health introduced some measures , among them physical distancing, stay at home orders and the dusk to dawn curfew.

However, the effectiveness of physical distancing is determined by individual behavior.

Change of behaviors

The interventions most essential for control of pandemics necessarily disrupt social processes. Public measures were implemented in response to COVID-19; people were encouraged by authorities, media, and peers to voluntarily adopt “personal distancing” behaviors to reduce virus transmission (e.g., avoiding physical contact or close proximity with non-household members and reducing use of shared public spaces).

Various guidelines have been issued to reduce the spread of the pandemic, including avoiding handshaking or any type of physical contact, avoiding social gatherings or visiting family or friends, wearing masks and gloves, closure of public venues, and tourism and travel restrictions.

Increasing handwashing, minimizing face touching, wearing masks in public, and physical distancing are the measures that have been adopted globally.

Because COVID-19 returns in waves, the psychological impacts of physical distancing will persist over time and may indeed become accentuated with repeated iterations of physical distancing.

Given that physical distancing affects the types of activities in which one can engage and impacts how activities are carried out, it is likely that this accounts for some of the psychological impact.

Studies evaluating the changes in lifestyle due to restrictions imposed as precautionary measures have been conducted across the globe.

Post-pandemic era

In Kenya, public transport was affected, with Public Service Vehicles only allowed to carry half the capacity. Although the public transport has now gone back to normal, the industry must develop strategies to reduce this impact and plan well for the post-pandemic era.

Attending gatherings of family and friends or hugging them, religious gatherings and political gatherings were all restricted, and Kenyans had to learn how to live with this reality.

The dusk to dawn curfew which was also implemented forced Kenyans to also adjust their time schedules, from working till late in the night, to being in their houses by as early as 6pm.

Although the curfew has hence been lifted, a section of Kenyans are still getting into their houses by 10pm.

Well, will lifestyle changes brought about by this measures affect Kenyans in the post-pandemic era? Well, although little studies have been done on these, there are probabilities that many Kenyans will not go back to normal.

With new waves of Covid-19 continuing to emerge, Kenyans are likely to continue exercising caution as far as the pandemic is concerned.

In contrast, the minimum distances that have been maintained between an infected person and a potential host are disputable and are far from being established based on scientific evidence.

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  • A mental health crisis has emerged during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Changed lifestyle pattern had a negative effect on mental health and quality of life of Kenyans, both adults and children.
  • Previous studies have highlighted the importance of healthy lifestyles as they are crucial in maintaining and improving physical and mental health and improving the quality of life.

The break out of the Covid-19 pandemic brought about changes on the way people live, their mental health, well-being among other effects. Or is it?

Well, the first Covid-19 case to be reported in Kenya since the beginning of the outbreak in China in December 2019 was confirmed on March 12, 2020. Since then, things never remained the same.

As of Monday November 22, 2021, 258 million cases of Covid-19 had been recorded globally, with 5.15 million deaths. Kenya has reported about 255,000 coronavirus infections and 5,300 coronavirus-related deaths.

The COVID-19 pandemic forced the Kenyan government to close schools between March 2020 and September 2020 for Grades Four, Eight and Form 4, and up to December 2020 for all other classes.

mutahi kagwe – Kenya News Agency
Kenya’s Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe. PHOTO/COURTESY.

However, the pandemic did not only affect the schools, which have hence resumed but with an amended academic calendar, but also affected the lifestyle of Kenyans, their mental health, and the well-being of both adults and children.

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to isolation because people have to remain at home to prevent infection, but this is likely to have a detrimental effect on the physical and mental health of individuals.

Lifestyle

Previous studies have highlighted the importance of healthy lifestyles as they are crucial in maintaining and improving physical and mental health and improving the quality of life.

You can all agree that the Covid-19 pandemic has totally affected the way Kenyans used to live. Isn’t it? The government announced several measures to curb the spread of the pandemic.

Shortly after the schools were closed, a nationwide dusk to dawn curfew was imposed in Kenya. This was followed by a lockdown in major cities of Nairobi and Mombasa, whereby Kenyans were not allowed to enter or leave the said cities.

As a result, Kenyans found it hard to adapt to the new way of living, since they were now required to be in their houses by 7pm, and only get out after 4am. Bars and restaurants were as well closed, and every Kenyan, apart from children, have been putting on face masks to protect themselves from contracting the coronavirus.

Washing of hands each and every time, or using an alcohol-based sanitizer has been a norm. Or is it?

All these measures have hence changed the way people used to live. Initially, people could freely visit each other and share whatever they have, but the covid-19 measures required that one stays at home, and always maintains a 1 metre social distance whenever he/she is in public.

People have also struggled to adjust their normal daily schedules from working until late and some even overnight, to being at home by the time that had been set under the curfew.

Currently, some of these measures have been relaxed, but it has proved to be hard for Kenyans to go back to normal.

The Covid-19 pandemic is still here with us, and this fact has made Kenyans to continue observing the measures that have been put by the government to curb the spread of the pandemic.

The pandemic has also brought about significant changes in daily living patterns among adults in Kenya. With changed daily schedules caused by social distancing, the closure of colleges, universities and shops, there were changes in how Kenyans preoccupied themselves, in which they tended to spend less time on social activities, leisure, and education. 

Eating habits

Eating habits also changed during the pandemic as a result of the measures announced by the government to curb spread of the pandemic. Do you remember how Kenyans were thrown into panic shopping with rumors that the country was going to witness a total lockdown?

Well, most Kenyans rushed to buy foods that cannot go bad easily. As a result, most of them consumed significantly more carbohydrates and minerals and significantly less alcohol, since bars and restaurants had been closed. Initially, alcohol was allowed to be sold as takeaways only, then the sell was banned before it was allowed again . 

Mental Health and Wellbeing

Changed lifestyle pattern had a negative effect on mental health and quality of life of Kenyans, both adults and children.

In particular, government actions related to social distancing have been proved to be effective public health measures; however, they could also cause health problems other than COVID-19 infection such as psychological distress and fear.

Therefore, it is essential to prioritize the preventive approach as practiced in Kenya to stay protected and maintain health and wellbeing.

A mental health crisis has emerged during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

In 2020, Kenya  was ranked 6th among African countries with the highest cases of depression, which triggered anxiety by the World Health Organization (WHO), with 1.9 million people suffering from a form of mental conditions such as depression and substance abuse.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that one in four people is affected by mental or neurological disorders globally at some point in their lives. This places mental disorders among the leading causes of ill-health and disability worldwide.

According to a study by Dr. Habil Otanga, a Lecturer at the University of Nairobi, Department of Psychology, measures such as those introduced by Kenyan government to curb the spread of the pandemic can in turn lead to surge in mental related illnesses.

The illness include depression, feelings of confusion, anger and fear, and even substance abuse.

Children and young people

UNICEF in its flagship project on October 5, 2021 warned that children and young people could feel the impact of COVID-19 on their mental health and well-being for many years to come.

The report details that children and young people carried the burden of mental health conditions without significant investment in addressing them even before Covid-19 pandemic.

Mental health
PHOTO/COURTESY/UNICEF.

“It has been a long, long 18 months for all of us – especially children. With nationwide lockdowns and pandemic-related movement restrictions, children have spent indelible years of their lives away from family, friends, classrooms, play – key elements of childhood itself,” said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore.

In Kenya, UNICEF supports Childline Kenya, which takes calls from children and young people in need of help, including for mental health issues. 

The number of calls to the service more than doubled following the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

UNICEF funded an increase in the number of counsellors and promoted the service through a nationwide campaign, ‘Spot it, Stop it’. 

As schools re-opened, UNICEF worked with the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) to send messages to over 300,000 teachers on how to deal with the impact of COVID-19 and prolonged school closures on children’s psychosocial wellbeing. 

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OVERCOMING DRUG ADDICTION

Drug addiction can also be referred to as substance use disorder. It is best referred to a disease that affects a person’s brain or behavior and leads to the inability to control the use of a legal or illegal drug or medication.

There are various types of drugs like alcohol, marijuana and nicotine. Excess use of these drugs can cause drug addiction and diseases. It can cause effects like delayed puberty and lower bone mineral density and leads to continued use despite the harm it causes to the body.

Internet has played an important role in overcoming drug addiction for many youths who are battling with the said disease.
This is through the use of phones, laptops and other gadgets, there are also online games that are a great distraction to the youth to those who are battling with drug addiction those who are trying to overcome it and it also benefits those who are not using drugs too..

These online games act as a form of entertainment. Some are paid for and others are free.You can download and watch when offline and you can click and watch some of it when online.

The platforms; https://www.solitaire.org/ offer a wide variety of games to suit all ages. The solitaire is highly preferred because it offers free browser based online games that you can play directly with no app downloads. Moreover there are no distractive ads, there is absolutely something for everyone. The wide genre to choose from makes you come back for more.

My favorite game is Mahjong. This is a simple and fun game anybody can play, and my younger likes Freecell Solitaire. I also like playing Golf Solitaire.

These solitaire games platform has made my alcoholic brother so busy nowadays, in fact he no longer gets time to drink alcohol.

Look no further. Internet has provided a wide range of solutions to drug addiction. Grab your phone or laptop and you’ll find distractions to help overcome drug addiction.

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Confusion engulfed a family in Kavaluka area in Kithimu, Embu North when a woman who got lost 45 years ago resurfaced.

The family that lost their mother was today caught in dilemma on whether to celebrate or not because they were not sure whether that was their mother despite having identified her name in resemblance of that of their mother.

According to the woman’s daughter, Emmaculate Mugo who is now 56-years-old, their mother got lost in 1975 when she was 9 years old.

She recalled how their mother left them at their grandmother’s home to go to the farm then pass by and pick them in the evening but never came back again.

She says that a woman came last week and sought refuge at a family within Kavaluka area in Manyatta in Embu north and introduced herself as Teresia Kina.

The host identified as Dominic Kathuri would do an announcement at a local radio station and that is how the family started following up.

Emmaculate due to the confusion surrounding her and the woman having mental disorder, they are not sure whether it is their mother because it’s been long since she lost.

The host recounted how the visitor mad her way to his home compound.

He gave her food and water, the woman then requested for a place to sleep since she was tired. Faith Wambeti who is a leader of Nyumba Kumi Initiative in Kavaluka area said when the woman saw children suspected to be hers, she ran where they were and hang on one of them.

The family has said hey will go for DNA test on her and other family members to ascertain whether it’s their mother.

The woman however could not speak well due t her mental state and gave a light of where she has been and how she got lost.

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Residents of Ngurunga village in Ithanga Gathanga in Murang’a wants the closure of church that does not allow them to go to hospital when they fall sick.

The residents claimed a lot of people have died and called upon the government to take action. This was sparked by the death of a 30 year-old woman while giving birth at her home.

According to reports, Stella Njeri developed birth complications which prompted one of the neighbors to call health officers to rush her to Maragua Hospital

On reaching there, her husband declined to have her undergo cesarean section delivery as advised by the doctor. A health officer identified as Ceciliah Mahinde said that Njeri’s husband appended a signature on the hospital records that he won’t allow his wife to be admitted in the hospital.

The officer said that she took her time to convince them to go to the hospital for safe delivery but on reaching there, they refused to be attended by the doctor. Reportedly, Njeri died a few hours after arriving home from the hospital.

The residents irked by this threatened to set ablaze their home claiming that it is not the first incident. Mary Wambui one of the residents said six people have died under the same circumstance for refusing to go to the hospital.

She added that the church called ‘Kigoocho’ has strict doctrines that prevents its members from seeking medical help. She said when the members are sick, they are advised to stay indoors as church leaders pray for them.

She further revealed that the founding bishop of the church alongside his wife and four children died for failing to seek medical attention.

Another neighbor John Waithaka called upon the government to take action against the church leaders saying that they take advantage of the vulnerability of the people to brainwash them.

County Executive officer for health Joseph Mbai said it is unacceptable for people to die in their homes instead of seeking treatment. He said he shall present a petition to Health CS Mutahi Kagwe and the Interior CS Fred Matiang’i to take action against such churches.

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Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe has announced an extension of nationwide curfew for another 30 days.

In a statement issued on Monday 4th October 2021, the CS said the 4 am to 10 pm curfew will continue for another month in a bid to curb new infections of coronavirus.

Kagwe also announced that all public gatherings and political meetings have been banned nationwide.

This announcement comes as politicians continue traversing the country in campaign efforts ahead of the 2022 general elections.

In September, the CS said that the government would not easy COVID-19 protocols unless the infection rate go down.

“Our real problem has been funerals, funerals where people gather in large numbers and it’s crucial for us to avoid that. If the infection goes down, we will release the economy and allow people to attend funerals since we shall have curbed the virus. This is when people will have the freedom to run their normal activities but until then we need to be vigilant,” he said.

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The following are some of the most guarded people in Kenya and their security details.

President Uhuru Kenyatta

He is the most-guarded VIP currently in the country.

Together with his family, the President has about 200 security guards drawn from the GSU.

State House and state lodges are guarded by the officers drawn from GSU’s G-Company.

The officers attached to the President are headed by PEU commandant Josephat Kirimi, who is a former head of Recce Company that is assigned to protect the President, Deputy President and some select VIPs.

PEU is a fully-fledged team, which can handle the movement of the President and his family anytime.

They, however, usually get the help of the local police whenever the President visits.

As part of security measures, they don’t allow armed police officers, especially those with rifles, at the events, apart from their members.

Whenever the President moves, the local police commander has to ensure the movement is guarded.

And if and when he addresses a gathering, tens of local officers are deployed.

The President enjoys some of the best police officers’ services as they are drawn from various units and trained on a common agenda.

Other than police officers, officials from National Intelligence Service also provide crucial services to the President.

Deputy President William Ruto

As the second in command, Ruto has more than 50 armed security officers, who also guard his family.

The officers also guard his property, personal assistants and some relatives as well.

Ruto enjoys the services of a lead car and a backup whenever he is on the move, and traffic personnel are always alerted on time to make way for him.

Changes in his security team on August 26 elicited concerns amid his fallout with the President.

His security is drawn from various units, including PEU, APS and Prisons.

Whenever the DP moves, the local police commander has to ensure the movement is guarded and if and when he addresses a gathering, tens of local officers are deployed.

Just like the President, the DP enjoys some of the best police officers’ services as they are drawn from various units and trained on a common agenda.

Before the trend was stopped, the members used to interchange between the President and DP for, among other reasons, exposure.

House Speakers Justin Muturi and Ken Lusaka

The speakers for both National Assembly (Muturi) and Senate (Lusaka) have security with them on the move, at home and in the office.

They usually have lead cars with up to eight police officers whenever they travel.

Their families are enjoying the security of armed police.

The officers are drawn from GSU, general duty, APS and Prisons.

Former President Mwai Kibaki

As former President of the republic, Kibaki still enjoys heavy security all the time.

Apart from himself, his businesses, family and some friends still enjoy security courtesy of him.

He still has a lead car and a backup together with another that usually carries his personal assistants.

His homes are also guarded by officers from G-Company of GSU.

Chief Justice Martha Koome

As the head of the Judiciary, which is also the third arm of the government, Justice Koome enjoys heavy security all the time.

Her home is heavily guarded and she enjoys the services of a lead car whenever she is on the move.

The officers are drawn from various units in the National Police Service.

Like many other VIPs, she is allowed to choose the security she needs.

Cabinet Secretaries

All Cabinet Secretaries enjoy armed security services.

Their personnel are drawn from various units in the service and are allowed to choose the people they want to protect them.

Some of the members of the Cabinet have lead cars that serve as a backup.

They include Fred Matiang’i (interior), Ukur Yatani (Treasury), Joe Mucheru (ICT), George Magoha (education) and James Macharia (infrastructure).

Apart from the CSs, a number of Chief Administrative Secretaries, Principal Secretaries and some senior government officials also enjoy security around the clock whenever they are on the move as well as at their offices and homes.

The CSs are entitled to at least two armed guards at their homes at any time, and another two while travelling.

But depending on the risk assessment levels determined by security chiefs, some could have more security detail.

Other beneficiaries

Some embassies and ambassadors in the country are heavily guarded by Kenyan security.

They include those of the US, Israel, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Britain and Australia, China and Russia.

They have police including those from GSU deployed to them for their use.

Some heads of parastatals are also accorded police bodyguards.

The Central Bank Governor, Inspector General of Police and Deputy IGs, DCI, Director of Public Prosecutions and Attorney General and Chief of Defence Forces are also in the league of the heavily protected public officers.

They each have a chase car, at least five guards and another division protecting their spouses and children.

All judges, Controller of Budget and Auditor General, a number of commissioners, governors and their deputies and a number of staff at the counties also enjoy the security services.

An unspecified number of influential personalities, former Cabinet ministers and retired public servants also have police guards. This is because of risks posed by decisions they made and information they have by virtue of office.

Police sources reveal up to 13,000 police officers — out of the national tally of 60,000, some of whom, are in the traffic department — guard ministers, MPs, politicians, and top Government officials.

According to official policy, each of the more than 400 MPs and senators is entitled to an armed guard.

Senior police officers, however, claim some politicians and well-connected businessmen at times exploit their connections in government to be assigned police protection.

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