Hospitals across the country have recorded the highest number of births in the month of November, which medical experts say are as a result of the digital migration TV blackout that left millions of Kenyans with intimacy as the only form of entertainment, nine months ago!
Following news that hospitals are now facing an acute capacity crisis, panic-stricken Ministry of Health is engaged in a war of words with the Ministry of Information, blaming the latter for switching off television broadcasts earlier this year.
By bungling the digital migration exercise, leaving the country in TV blackout, the health ministry argues the citizens had no option but to turn to procreation for entertainment.
“My friend, the number of births this month alone is record-setting. Medical facilities are over stretched. Maternity wards are crowded. Unfortunately, we were not prepared for this…” a technocrat at the ministry of health said, adding: “The ministry of Information should give us some of their budget to help us cope with the increased demand for maternity services…”
But in a quick rejoinder, the Ministry of Information, which would hear none of it, have told them off.
“We are the Ministry of Communication not the Ministry of Contraception… we cannot bear responsibility for the citizen’s decision to procreate, just because they couldn’t get to watch the all-too-predictable soap operas. Why didn’t they tune in to a radio or something…” a senior information ministry official shot back.
As the war between the two ministries escalated, nurses and other medical personnel in maternity wards across the country say they are overwhelmed.
Meanwhile, baby thieves and brokers are having a boom time with so many babies to choose from at some of the notorious maternity hospitals where babies disappear faster than a rabbit in a magician’s hat.
“Christmas has come early for us… we are filling all orders and at this rate I could even retire early,” said one baby broker and trafficker who spoke on condition of anonymity. Though it was not confirmed some are even said to be contemplating placing cute baby photos they have on offer on some of the leading classified and shopping websites to widen their market!
Interestingly, and in what it is likely to be a disappointment to conservatives who prefer Biblical names to some secular, fancy made-up names, some of the children being born this month are being named after the popular terms that were on everyone’s lips when they were being conceived.
These include names such as Davibo (apparently to stand for DVB-T2), Terry (from Second generation Terrestrial), Valentine (because the TVs were switched off in the month of February), Decoderius and so on.
Baby-naming experts say soon and very soon, we will start hearing kids go by strange names such as Gotivi Omondi, Startimes Kamau, Professor Bamba Wekesa, Freetoair Wairimu, Nomonthlycharges Okoth and many others, making it a rough time for saints who must be worried that Kenyans are ditching them in droves.
Makers and dealers in baby products are also reporting an increase in sales. “Things were really going to the toilet, but things are now looking up… but tunaomba serikali ifanye hii TV blackout ikuwe ya kila mwaka… the more babies the better for us,” said one industrialist.
And with the increasing penchant for litigation among Kenyans, a couple that had an unplanned pregnancy have reportedly filed a lawsuit against the Information ministry. They are accusing it of incompetence which lead them to try out other forms of entertainment and nine months later, an extra mouth to feed.
“The Ministry of Information should compensate us and cater for the costs of bringing up the child until she’s 18 years of age…” the couple are quoted as saying.