What you need to know:
- Medical staff are becoming a major health threat to patients.
- The frontline workers do not have sufficient protection gear, medical insurance and risk allowances.
Medics infected with the coronavirus but are asymptomatic are forced to treat patients.
The clinical management of Covid-19 squarely rests on health workers. Patients go to them with the singular hope of getting remedy for their ailments. And that presupposes that the medical personnel are in perfect health and stable mind to offer curative services.
But the reality is different. This week, the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union made grave revelations before Senate’s Health Committee.
Medics infected with the coronavirus but are asymptomatic are forced to treat patients. So, medical staff are becoming a major health threat to patients. Since they handle all sorts of patients, some with underlying conditions and therefore vulnerable to Covid infection, health workers are a risk population. Health facilities have become a dangerous place to go. That is worrisome.
An equally troubling aspect is that the government has failed to protect health workers. The frontline workers do not have sufficient protection gear, medical insurance and risk allowances.
Exposed to infection
They are unduly exposed to infection and when they get it, they are left on their own. Statistics from the union indicate that more than 2,000 medical staff have been infected and at least 10 doctors have succumbed to the virus. This is alarming and should jolt the government into action.
Several times in the past, Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe, and even President Uhuru Kenyatta, have made pledges to cushion the frontline workers from the ravages of the virus. But there is little commensurate action.
This is the reason we are asking the government to match words with action. With the coronavirus infections spiking, frontline workers are increasingly getting exposed and need protection to enable them to save lives.