Kenya: Quintuplets Are Stable, Elders Say They Are Not Bad Omen

Kakamega Health CEC Rachael Okumu admires five children born at the County Referral Hospital.

The five babies admitted for specialised care at the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH) are in stable condition and have received overwhelming support from well-wishers, including government officials.

MTRH Chief Executive Officer Wilson Aruasa said the quintuplets and their mother, Evaline Namukhula, 28, were responding well to postnatal care.

"I want to assure you that the babies are stable and we have to give them time to respond to the care," Dr Aruasa said.

The five babies born in Kakamega County Referral Hospital were referred to MTRH for specialised care last Wednesday after they developed breathing complications.

The head of the Paediatric Unit, Dr Eric Ngetich, said the lightest baby weighed 820 grammes while the heaviest was 1.4 kilogrammes at birth.

"We are now giving the babies all the specialised care they need. We are supporting their breathing through a ventilator; we are also expanding their lungs to ensure they breath properly," Dr Ngetich said.

BLOOD LOSS

The doctors said the mother was undergoing physiotherapy to support her to walk, after losing a lot of blood while giving birth.

"We are also transfusing her because she is a bit anaemic after losing a lot of blood. We are also ensuring she takes a balanced diet because she is not feeding for one but for her babies too in order to produce enough breast milk," Dr Philip Kirwa, who is the director of reproductive health at the maternity wing, said

This comes as a group of Kakamega County women, led by Woman Representative Elsie Muhanda, defended the five newborns who are said to be under threat from a section of community members who believe multiple births are a bad omen.

They condemned the practice of eliminating twins, terming it barbaric. Elders in Kochwa village, Kakamega County, told off a group of men who claimed the mother should kill three of the newborns as they were a "misfortune".

The elders said they are not aware of the said tradition and warned those planning to harm the babies of dire consequences.

Additional reporting by Benson Amadala and Derick Luvega

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