Relief for patients in Turkana as 60 medics recover from Covid-19

A section of health workers at the Lodwar County and Referral Hospital.

Photo credit: Sammy Lutta | Nation Media Group

Turkana county government has rolled out a phased reopening of critical services at the main Lodwar County and Referral Hospital after the facility suffered a month-long blow from Covid-19 infections among medics.

Since the first coronavirus case was detected in a health worker at the facility on October 9, community transmissions saw the number of cases rise to 61.

One medic succumbed to the disease but a total of 60 medics, mostly based at the Lodwar County and Referral Hospital, have now fully recovered.

Hospital Director, Dr Bonventure Ameyo, said that they will prioritise adherence to strict containment measures to prevent re-emergence of coronavirus among staff and patients.

Dr Ameyo said that only one caretaker will be allowed in wards and especially for immobile and critically ill patients.

He explained that all other patients will be required to operate on their own as a way of eliminating crowds at the facility.

Dr Ameyo said that the hospital had adopted "no mask no service approach"  following the communique issued by the Council of Governors.

He assured all health workers of availability of PPE as a key Covid-19 prevention measure.

"Mother and Child Health (MCH), Out Patient Department services as well as elective surgeries are expected to resume before the second week of December 2020,." Dr Ameyo said.

Governor Josephat Nanok said that the medics who had tested positive included nurses, clinical officers and lab technologists from at least 16 departments.

Mr Nanok said that his administration was forced to stop some critical services that were being offered by health workers who had been infected with the virus, appealing to patients to opt for nearby health centres as a measure to prevent spread of Covid-19.

According to County Disease Surveillance Unit report, the county has a cumulative Covid-19 caseload of 744 from a total of 60,860 samples by Thursday.

The report revealed that Turkana West Sub-County accounted for the biggest proportion of the cases at 449, representing 60.4 per cent, followed by Turkana Central Sub-County with 273 cases which is 36.7 per cent.

The report further indicated that 11 people had already succumbed to the disease while 606 had fully recovered.

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