When a teenager prematurely gave birth to a child weighing 0.64kg, Nyamira County Referral Hospital (NCRH) medics said they had never come across such a case.
The birth was recorded as Extremely Low Birth Weight (ELBW) even as the medics intensified efforts to ensure the child survived.
They moved her to the New Born Unit (NBU) for close monitoring.
Eighty Seven (87) days down the line, the child was handed over to the mother, 15, on Friday, weighing 2kg.
“This is good news to all of us; the child has attained the recommended minimum weight to be discharged,” Dr Timothy Ombati who works at the facility’s pediatric ward said.
Word quickly went round the hospital as soon as the child was handed over to the mother whose name we have withheld because she is a minor.
Health workers and other onlookers celebrated the facility’s breakthrough of ensuring the child survived thus far.
“So far the baby has not been given a name. We usually identify babies with their mothers as Baby So and So when they are born,” Dr Ombati said.
Those who spoke during the brief celebrations thanked Dr Ombati and his colleagues at the NBU who included Dr Brenda Oeba who is the section head and Sister Frida who is the nurse in charge.
This writer established that the hospital Medical Superintendent Dr Chrispin Nanjala was very supportive in the journey that lasted almost three months.
The child and mother who hails from within Rangenyo ward were taken home in the county government vehicle.
Meanwhile, The newskalimedia team has learnt that the new mother comes from an extremely humble background.
So far, the hospital waived the bills incurred and provided her with food.
“I hope that more people will step in to support the minor so that she takes care of her child,” Dr Ombati said.
Teenage pregnancy is increasingly becoming a monster in Kenya, especially since Covid-19 struck.
Last year, Kenya launched a National Campaign against Teenage Pregnancies, through the National Council for Population and Development (NCPD) seeking an end to teen pregnancy.
The campaign is focused on galvanizing communities on the need to end teen pregnancies through awareness and advocacy citing its negativity on socio-economic growth.
Data from Kenya Data and Health Survey (2014) shows that 1 in every 5 girls between 15-19 years was either pregnant or already a mother.
Gender inequality, difficulties in accessing services and poverty are some of the factors orchestrating high rates of unintended pregnancies in the country, according to Unicef.
“We must take urgent steps to make sure children and young people receive the information and support they need to protect themselves from unintended pregnancy and HIV,” said Maniza Zaman, UNICEF Representative to Kenya.
A story published by Unicef on November 20th last year quoted Zaman as saying that, “This is particularly relevant during the COVID-19 pandemic, when safety nets like families and schools have been affected.”