Covid-19 kills dental surgeon Nira Patel

Dr Nira Patel

Dr Nira Patel, a dental surgeon, who has died from Covid-19. 

Photo credit: Courtesy

Covid-19 has killed dental surgeon Nira Pital, dealing the medical fraternity in Kenya another big blow amid a taxing fight against the pandemic.

The Kenya Medical Practitioners Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) announced Dr Patel's death on Saturday, noting that she mentored and nurtured many dentists in the country.

The dental surgeon, who specialised in orthodontics, was the wife of consultant dental surgeon, Dr Pankaj Patel.

"[She was] a mentor to many and was recently bestowed with life membership of the Kenya Dental Association," the union said via Twitter.

Huge losses

Dr Patel was diagnosed two days ago.

Her death brings to 12 the number of doctors who have died of the coronavirus disease as the country fights a second wave of infections.

Earlier, the doctors' union paid tribute to the country's top kidney specialist after his death from Covid-19, describing him as as "teacher and mentor to many".

Dr Anthony Were Omolo, a nephrologist and the head of the renal unit at the Kenyatta National Hospital, died on Friday night.

A total of 2,352 healthcare workers have tested positive for the virus, out of which 1,177 are male and 1,175 female.

Thirty have died from the disease, according to the Health ministry.

Strike notice

Angered and alarmed by the rising number of deaths in the medical fraternity, KMPDU HAS issued a strike notice on November 16.

With the notice set to expire on December 6, there are no indications from the national and county governments on whether the doctors' demands will be met. 

Among them are identification of dedicated facilities for the treatment of doctors in each county, a comprehensive medical cover, a comprehensive group life insurance with benefits, payment of allowances and provision of personal protective equipment (PPE).

The union is also demanding reinstatement of doctors suspended in Laikipia and Kirinyaga counties, and enhanced risk allowance for doctors on duty. 

So far, Kenya has declared 75,193 Covid-19 cases, with 1,349 deaths recorded by Friday evening. 

A total of 50,984 people have recovered from the viral respiratory infection that was first reported in Wuhan, China, at the end of last year.

The disease was first confirmed in Kenya on March 13.

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