On Sunday the 23rd of May 2010 I was called by a friend called Mary who is head mistress at a government school in Malindi, to tell me that one of her 15 year old pupils, Neema, had given birth on the 7th of May to a baby girl and was still in Malindi hospital due to the Mum's health problems.
Mary and I agreed the child needed our help, so we drove the 25 miles to Malindi to see the situation for ourselves. We discovered that Neema became pregnant by a neighbour in the sprawling slums in Muyeye, who now denies any involvement. No surprise there then! The hospital was a dire place; it looked as though it had been built in the 1950's with no improvements since. The place was packed inside and out, the smell was overwhelming, with two or more people lying on a bed. We discovered that Neema experienced complications just before birth she had constant headaches, abdominal pains and was very irritable for long periods of time. 3 days after a natural birth Neema started exhibiting violent behaviour, and trying to throw the baby away. She was rushed back to the hospital where she had to be sedated, and was therefore unable to breastfeed the baby. On the Sunday we went to the hospital the baby had not been fed or washed for two days. The Mum was in the Women's Ward, so the baby was open to many different infections and illnesses. The Grandmother agreed for us to bring the baby 'home' to the Happy House, as she had no means of caring for her, Neema and the other 5 children she had at home. The Grandmother, the hospital office Mary, and myself signed an agreement, as she was the one that referred the baby to the Happy House. Billy our Social Worker will now complete all the necessary paper work for us to officially care for Natasha. Contact will be kept with the family to check on the progress of Neema
When we brought Natasha home at 2pm on Sunday afternoon the Happy House Kids were delighted all wanting to see their new baby sister. The girls all wanted to hold her and the boys just looked on, as men do! Once the House Mums bathed and fed the baby she already looked so much better, she is sleeping well and takes her bottles hungrily. She slept most of Monday in her lovely clean cot full of baby porridge and SMA milk.
Sorry the delay in sending the news but the camera broke and we have had to buy a new one, not an easy task in this area! If only we had Jessops on the corner!