Clinical Officers have attributed the rising cases of COVID-19 among frontline healthcare workers in the country to government’s failure to provide quality Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs).
The Clinicians who addressed media in Nakuru on Tuesday, attributed the rising cases among frontline healthcare workers to lack of right personal protective equipment.
In a joint statement by Kenya Union of Clinical Officers and Kenya Clinical Officers Association, they termed the situation shameful.
This even as the government insists to have PPEs worth Sh 6 billion stored in KEMSA.
Kenya Union of Clinical Officers Chairman Peterson Wachira revealing that they have visited numerous facilities across Nairobi,Uasin Gishu,Trans Nzoia abd Nakuru counties and there are no right PPEs for frontline healthcare workers.
“Our members in these counties that we visited are not using the right PPEs and are provided with very limited supply of available PPEs” said Wachira.
According to Ministry of Health guidelines, healthcare worker attending to any patients at the outpatient and inpatient should use N95 mask and eye protection among other protective gear.
However, the situation is different in all the facilities visited by the officials from the Kenya Union of Clinical Officers and Kenya Clinical Officers Association.
They say in all the facilities visited, only surgical masks were provided and in limited quantities with some having to re-use.
It is for this reasons that the Clinicians are calling on government to release the sh 6 billion worth of PPEs lying at KEMSA so that they can be distributed to health facilities across the country.
They are also demanding that every county has adequate and fully equipped designated isolation facilities for health care workers
Further, they demand that the government takes care of all the hospital bills arising from COVID-19 treatment among health workers irrespective of the facility of admission.
In the recommendations read by Kenya Union of Clinical Officers Secretary General George Gibore, the clinicians are also calling on government to ensure that all healthcare workers with pre-existing diseases, pregnant or beyond 55 years be excused from duty until the transmission is managed.
“We cannot continue to suffer anymore. We are calling on government to release the sh 6 billion worth of PPEs lying at KEMSA so that they can be distributed to health facilities across the country” said Gibore.
The Clinicians’ officials also warning their members against handling COVID-19 suspects without proper PPEs.
They are urging them to withdraw services whenever forced to work in environment that exposes them to risk of infection.
Already two Clinical Officers have succumbed to COVID-19 while over 310 have contracted the virus and several others admitted in isolation facilities and home-based care across the country.