By Sr Mary O’Malley, MMM
We are convinced that since Nairobi is a Mecca for expatriates of surrounding countries and the whole of East and Central Africa, we experience the full ‘fall-out’ of the problem of Human Trafficking here.
An example is the case of a Ugandan nurse (‘Lucy’) hired here in Kenya to care for an elderly lady. She was raped by one of the sons of the family and became pregnant. Her husband was an army man and was killed in Iraq when her youngest child was six months old. This child was six when Lucy decided to take a job in Nairobi. But the rape brought her untold pain and we were at the receiving end of caring for her from 11th February – mid-July, 2022. She had three major complications of pregnancy and one of these entailed delivery by caesarean section. The others were high blood pressure and anemia which are also obstetric nightmares. She did not wish to arrive home to Uganda while pregnant and we respected her wishes. In mid-April, while all this was happening, she received news that her mother had died (a diabetic with high blood pressure). She was also caring for her other two children aged 6 and 8. Due to the obstetric complications she could not travel, but we linked her in to follow the funeral Mass and burial online. She had a friend take the children to a primary boarding school but that entailed an expense from our side.
Lucy had her caesarean section in the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) but one week later it was complicated by a huge abdominal abscess which necessitated a return to the operating theatre. Later the baby was admitted to hospital with neonatal pneumonia. Slowly Lucy gained strength and healing and her thoughts turned to home. The now ten-week-old baby girl had gained good weight and would soon join her siblings in the Southwest corner of Uganda. We thanked God for such a good outcome despite the many hurdles we faced together with Lucy.