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Dr. Aisha Khatib sprung into action to deliver the baby while on the overnight trip. Photo AishaKhatib/Twitter


A planeload of passengers on an overnight flight from Qatar to Uganda burst into applause after a Canadian doctor delivered a “miracle” baby on board, according to reports.

Dr. Aisha Khatib, a professor at the University of Toronto, sprang into action when she answered an urgent appeal on Qatar Airways’ intercom for a medical professional.

“I see a crowd of people gathered around the patient,” Khatib told BBC News. “As I got closer I see this woman lying on the seat with her head toward the aisle and feet towards the window. And the baby was coming out!”

Khatib was helped by two other passengers — an oncology nurse and a pediatrician from the non-profit Doctors Without Borders.

“I looked at the baby, and she was stable, and I looked at the mom and she was OK,” said Khatib.

“So I was like, ‘Congratulations it’s a girl.’ Then the entire plane started clapping and cheering and was like ‘Oh right, I’m on a plane and everybody is watching this.'”

The baby was crying “robustly,” she said, later posing with pictures of the newborn on her Twitter feed. The birth took place on Dec. 5, but Khatib only posted the photographs this week because she said she was too busy treating COVID patients in Toronto. She was called back to the Canadian city from Entebbe, where she had gone to train medical workers, she said.

The mother, a migrant worker who was on her way home to Uganda from Saudi Arabia to deliver her first child, named her daughter after Khatib. The doctor gave the mother a gold necklace she was wearing with “Aisha” written in Arabic.

“I thought I’d give it to her and she’ll have a little token of the doctor that delivered her 35,000 feet in the air while flying over the Nile,” she said. - Isabel Vincent, New York Post


Kenya's and Tanzania's passports are now the eighth most powerful in Africa and 71 globally.

The Henley Passport Index Report released on Monday shows that the number of countries that Kenyans can visit without a visa, or obtain it on arrival has increased to 72 from 64 in January last year. The country's mobility score improved six places in the latest ranking.

The mobility score measures the number of countries that a person holding Kenya’s passport can visit without having a visa or the nations where they can get a visa on arrival.

Kenya emerged eighth, a spot that it shared with Tanzania in the latest ranking and behind Mauritius, Botswana, eSwatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, Seychelles and South Africa.

Last year, Kenya’s travel document had been placed at position 77 globally on the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“…Covid-19 and its interplay with instability and inequality has highlighted and exacerbated the shocking disparity in international mobility between wealthy developed nations and their poorer counterparts,” said the report.

Uganda emerged position 76 with Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan coming in at number 82, 92 and 99 respectively, according to the report.

The mobility score, which is an initiative of Henley Passport Index had last year downgraded the strength of Kenya’s travel document on account of devastating effects of the Covid-19 that lowered the number of countries that one would visit without visa.

Japan and Singapore tied at position one with citizens of these countries able to visit 192 countries without visas. Germany emerged third in the global ranking.

Kenya rolled out new chip-embedded passports for its citizens in a move that targets rampant forgery and impersonation of holders. The new features are meant to make it impossible for anyone to forge or duplicate a Kenyan passport.

Roll-out of the e-passports with a 10-year validity period marked the beginning of the end of the ‘analogue’ passports that have been in use since Independence and has joined 60 other countries that use new passports. - GERALD ANDAE, The EastAfrican

Ongoing works on the railway line connecting the Naivasha Inland Container Depot to Longonot Station at DK 20, Naivasha on February 16, 2021.


Kenya Railways has conducted its first trial freight train on the newly constructed link connecting the Standard Gauge Railway and Meter Gauge Railway in Naivasha.

The cargo destined for Malaba was loaded at the Mombasa port and transported via the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) before being transhipped onto the Metre Gauge Railway (MGR) line at the Naivasha Inland Container Depot (NICD).

Speaking at the event, Kenya Railways Managing Director Philip Mainga said that with a capacity to handle 120,000 containers annually, the Naivasha ICD facility will handle transit cargo to Uganda, South Sudan, DR Congo, Northern Tanzania, Rwanda, and Burundi.

This, he said accounts for 30 per cent of imports and exports through the Mombasa port. 

Mainga said that the new railway line linking the Standard Gauge Railway to the Metre Gauge Railway at the Naivasha Inland Container Depot will enhance efficiency and ease the transhipment.

“Our clients will now enjoy seamless transportation of cargo from the Port of Mombasa to Malaba and onward to the East African region in a safe, reliable and cost-effective way," he said. 

Mainga said the railway line offers safety, efficiency and reliability. It also cuts the reliance on road transport on the 572 kilometre stretch

He said transporters and importers can now pick their cargo at Malaba 36 hours upon the train's departure from Mombasa.  Customers may also choose to use rail from Malaba to Kampala.

Mainga said that at the Naivasha ICD, local clients will be offered 30 days free storage with quick cargo processing and transhipment onto wagons.

“We will have regular, speedy and reliable delivery of cargo through well-organised train schedules with strict timetables for the evacuation of cargo and empty container repatriation from the Inland Container Terminals,” he said. - GILBERT KOECH, The Star

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