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If the five infants had not died, Akinyi would have had nine children

By Edwin Nyarangi | Published Wed, November 15th 2017 at 00:00, Updated November 14th 2017 at 22:59 GMT +3
Jacinta Akinyi (left) and her mother in law Pamela Ongonyo speaking to journalists at the Kisii Teaching and Referral Hospital on Tuesday. Akinyi lost all the five babies due to multiple complications. Edwin Nyarangi/ The Standard.

There was an air of gloom and sadness at the Kisii Teaching and Referral Hospital after the surviving three children out of the five that were birthed by Jacinta Akinyi died.

Akinyi gave birth to five children (quintuplets) – three boys and two girls on Sunday12 November 2017 at Matata Hospital in Oyugis Town. The three surviving infants (two boys and a girl) were transferred to Kisii Teaching and Referral Hospital where they died on Tuesday at 6am.

Confirming the incident, the Nursing Manager at the Hospital Florence Ogero said the three infants who were brought to the facility on Sunday for specialized care, passed away due to multiple complications despite efforts by staff at the hospital to ensure they remained alive and healthy.

Ogero said that the mother who had given birth to the five infants prematurely at seven months was in good health and had been counselled before being discharged. Akinyi had only stayed in the hospital for two days. It was hoped the three infants would be under medical care until they were able to survive outside an incubator.

“The complications were caused by the fact that the mother had not been attending clinic regularly where she could have known that she was going to have multiple births which could have necessitated necessary medical measures to be taken to ensure the mother and children were safe,” explained Ms Ogero.

 Akinyi who was accompanied by her mother-in-law Pamela Ongonyo as she was being discharged at the Hospital on Tuesday morning, said it was painful that all her five children had died but she had accepted the predicament since it was the will of God and she could do nothing about it.

“I would like to appreciate the efforts by staff at the Matata Hospital and Kisii Referral Hospital to ensure that my five children and I were in good health after the multiple births that happened on Sunday, they have tried their best but God had other plans for us,” said Akinyi.

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 A mother of four

30 years old Akinyi who is a mother of four children aged 12, 11, 10 and 8 years respectively was going on with her normal duties at a farm where she was working as a casual labourer on Saturday evening not knowing that on Sunday morning she be a mother of quintuplets that would temporarily grow her number of children to nine.

Akinyi who hails from Kachieng’ Bongu Village in  Homa Bay County told the Standard that on Saturday night, after experiencing labour pains, she told her mother in law who rushed her to Matata Hospital in Oyugis Town at 5am where she delivered the five children. She was seven months pregnant.

Two infants died after childbirth complications and medical staff at the hospital trying everything they could to resuscitate them. They then moved the Akinyi and her three surviving infants for specialized treatment in Kisii. Akinyi is married to Mr Josephat Okumu, a cane cutter working as a casual labourer at Sukary Industry Ltd in Ndhiwa.

 Multiple births in Kenya

In December 2016, Bahati Tabu, 37 years, gave birth to quintuplets in Tanzania after fleeing the doctor’s strike in Kenya. Four infants, all male, died after childbirth. She has 10 other children. In September 2016, a 30-year-old housewife Teresia Musenya, gave birth to quadruplets at Kitui General Hospital. She has two other children.

Multiple pregnancies usually occur when more than one egg is fertilized and implants in the uterus. Quintuplets occur in one out of 60 million births globally. The world’s first quintuplet – all girls - were born in 1934 in Ontario, Canada. They lived to adulthood and were popularly known as The Dionne sisters.

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