When the first case of covid-19 was confirmed in the country in March 2020, most Kenyans anticipated the health and economic implications due to international and local travel bans that crippled tourism and travel industries, closure of businesses and increased rate of unemployment.
The pandemic and the related restrictions had a strong impact on the livelihoods of Kenyan households as schools and places of worship were closed down.
One and half years later, the country continues to record increased cases of gender-based violence, mental health challenges among others.
So far, a cumulative number of 4,739 people have succumbed to the deadly virus in Kenya. Every one of those who have died due to Covid-19 represents a father, mother, husband, wife, sister, brother or a child to their loved ones.
For Maulid Osman Ndalana, a widower from Madogo, Tana River County and a father of three who lost his wife due to covid-19 in July, leaving him with a huge hospital bill to clear and an incubated baby removed prematurely at 6 months.
The baby girl who tested negative to Covid-19 is currently in an incubator at Aga Khan Hospital in Mombasa. Ndalana, 24, together with friends struggled to foot his late wife’s bill of Sh 750,000 who was buried in accordance with Islamic burial rites.
When his wife, Nuru Ibrahim aged 28 started complaining of headaches, fever and chest pains in early July, he went for over-the-counter drugs for her at the nearby clinics thinking it was due to her pregnancy.
Her condition deteriorated as days went by prompting him to take her to Mariakani Sub County hospital, where she tested positive for Covid-19. Ndalana and his two children however tested negative for the virus.
“My late wife tested positive for covid-19 while the children and I tested negative. We went for home-based care as she took her medication and the doctors advised us to isolate her in another room at home,” Maulid says.
Having not seen improvement on her health for a few days, Maulid decided to take her to Aga Khan Hospital in Mombasa where the doctors said that the virus had already weakened her lungs.
“According to the doctors, the virus had destroyed her lungs to the extent that she could not breathe without an oxygen support machine. They took her to the ICU,” he said
Maulid says that the doctors advised him that the only way to save the mother was by carrying out a C-section surgery to remove the baby so that they can treat the mother more efficiently.
“The doctors said that they could not give her strong medication to fight the virus because of the pregnancy. I agreed and signed the papers for her to go to surgery and have the baby removed so that we save her,” he said
The doctors successfully removed the baby and put her in incubation where she still is but unfortunately lost the mother.
“I wanted to save my wife but God had His plans. He gave me the baby who is still at the hospital in Mombasa,”
Moulid appeals to well-wishers, the government and all Kenyans to help him to rise over shs 1.2 million medical bill that is still accumulating at the hospital so that he can move the baby to Garissa general hospital, which is cheaper, and can have neighbors stay with her as he takes care of other children.
Kenyans of goodwill can help Maulid through M-Pesa number 0717405731.
He urged Kenyans to take government precaution measures seriously to prevent themselves from contracting the virus.