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BY JOAN WANJIKU,NAIROBI,23RD MARCH,2021-The Kenya Medical Practitioners Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) has warned that there are no spaces left within Intensive Care Units (ICUs) across the country.
On Tuesday, Acting Secretary General/CEO Chibanzi Mwachonda urged all members of the public and the political leadership to adhere to COVID-19 protocols to save healthcare workers.
“The rising numbers of COVID-19 infections have not spared healthcare workers. 10 doctors are currently admitted to various hospitals yet we are at a point where we need many doctors in the counties,” he said during a Press conference on Tuesday.
According to Dr. Mwachonda, Kenya is at the tipping point of the pandemic and the union has noted with concern the general state of laxity in adherence to COVID-19 measures in the country.
He reiterated that Aarising number of infections will lead to a high caseload and overwhelm the already stretched healthcare system as evidenced by the lack of adequate ICU units and personnel to handle severe COVID-19 cases.
“The counties are the weakest link to the COVID-19 response,” he said, adding that the acute shortage of doctors across the country is detrimental to health services delivery amidst the pandemic.
The COVID situation in the country is getting out of control, we never prepared our facilities adequately across the country & it will cost us. Keep safe, wear your masks & observe the preventive measures.
— Chibanzi Mwachonda 🇰🇪 (@CMwachonda) March 18, 2021
Dr. Mwachonda said March 2021 has recorded an increase in healthcare workers infection and this indicates the need for extra precaution by members of the public seeking healthcare services in hospitals.
“We urge the Ministry of health and National Treasury to fast-track the contract renewal process of the 156 hired to work in isolation and treatment centers across the country. County governments should address grievances at the workplace to avoid industrial unrest and provision of PPEs,” he added.
The KMPDU boss expressed support for the vaccine roll-out but noted that there has been low uptake and hesitancy due to the non-involvement, sensitization and awareness amongst healthcare workers.
He however stated that the union will embark on a nationwide campaign to increase vaccine uptake by engaging with its members.
“The ministry of health and county governments should scale up training and risk communication and education to tackle vaccine hesitancy through the healthcare workers representative bodies,” Dr. Mwachonda said.