How Covid-19 fanned the flames of unsafe abortions

A makeshift gravesite for the foetuses found in Nairobi River sits next to the Korogocho People’s Park.

Photo credit: Khadija Farah | Fuller Project

What you need to know:

  • Over the last six months, across Dandora, Ashura Mciteka, a health volunteer, has directly dealt with or heard of at least 30 abandoned foetuses or new-born babies.
  • The 70-plus members of the Komb Green Solutions team have also noted an up-tick since the outbreak of Covid-19.
  • The team continues to bury the new-borns they find – including eight sets of twins found over the course of one year – in an ever-growing makeshift grave nestled next to the river.
  • In Kenya, high rates of teenage pregnancy have long been an issue yet since mid-March, healthcare providers have repeatedly raised concerns about a spike during the pandemic.

One morning in September, Ashura Mciteka was sitting at home when her daughter burst through the door. “Come and see,” cried 10-year-old Ella, tugging her mother’s hand. Together they retraced Ella’s steps along a rocky, uneven pathway in their low-income neighbourhood in Nairobi, to where the young girl had been playing.


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