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Overwhelming response for woman who gave birth at Uhuru Park

By Anyango Atieno | March 14th 2019

Rebecca Atieno and Christine Riungu, after she was discharged from the hospital, well-wishers paid her bills and offered to accommodate her for some time. [Photo: Anyango Otieno/Standard]

A homeless woman who gave birth at Uhuru Park unassisted on Tuesday now has temporary refuge.

The plight of Rebecca Atieno, that was published in The Standard yesterday, triggered an outpouring of good will from well-wishers who offered her accommodation, gifted her household items and cleared her hospital bill.

There was an overwhelmingly response from readers and social media users some of whom visited her at Kenyatta National Hospital and helped her with discharge process.

Among those who were first to visit her was Christine Riungu, who works at the National Social Security Fund (NSSF). Riungu offered to accommodate her at her servant’s quarters in Rongai for some time.

“I read Rebecca’s story in The Standard this (yesterday) morning and I felt that I should rush to KNH and help her,” said Riungu.

She said that since it was a charity initiative, she had to follow the official procedure of going to the hospital's public relations office, then she was given permission to go to the ward.

By the time she was discharged, more than 20 people had gone to see her, many more were calling and ready to help her in different capacities.

“I am happy that the bill was cleared and now I am taking her to stay with me for a while. I will give her food and shelter,” said Riungu.

She added that Atieno will later need a job to sustain her and the baby girl.

“If there is anyone who can help her, I will really appreciate it because that will be the starting point of her life,” said Riungu.

Atieno courageously gave birth to a baby girl at Uhuru Park on her own, moments after she was fired from her job as a waitress at a local eatery in Muthurwa, Nairobi.

She did not have any money or a home to go to. She had been homeless for months, spending nights in Sh50 lodging in Muthurwa.

“At that time the pain was unbearable, I could not hold it any longer, I went in a trench and gave birth to my child there,” said Atieno, adding that she had to cut the umbilical cord using a sim card ejector and wrap the baby with the sweater as she did not have any other clothing.

At the hospital, she only had a small pack of diapers and a Maasai shawl that was offered to her by paramedics from St John Ambulance.

The paramedics were called by a Good Samaritan who saw her at Uhuru Park after birthing her child, after ensuring the baby’s vitals were okay, they took mother and child to hospital.

Atieno said Hope, her baby, has given her a lot of hope and a chance to experience life from another perspective.

“I never ever want to fail as a mother, I am all she has and I will do what I can,” she said. 

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