The Kenya Union of Clinical Officers has threatened to down tools if the national government does not guarantee the safety of medical practitioners fighting Covid-19, after the number of medics infected with Covid-19 had risen to six.
KUCO Secretary-General George Dibore while addressing the media on Friday, April 10, warned that the union will be forced to withdraw their services if not protected further informing that the six were under treatment.
“We have received confirmation on the cases of a clinical officer working for the Ministry of Health in Nairobi, a clinical officer in Ngara Clinic in Nairobi, a clinician stationed at the Kenya Ports Authority in Mombasa, two in Mombasa County’s public health facilities and one in Baringo County,” Gibore stated.
However, speaking to Kenyans.co.ke on Friday, April 10, Nairobi County Health CEC Hitan Majevdia informed that one of the medics had recovered and was discharged.
“Our medical staff, a clinician from Ngara and her husband were discharged from Mbagathi isolation centre today. The children tested COVID-19 negative,” Majevdia stated.
“We shall withdraw our services from the counties which will not provide PPEs,” Dibore warned.
The research by KUCO sampled 790 workers cutting across 46 counties, revealing that 68 per cent of medics lacked proper training on the use of PPEs and three out of every ten health workers had not been provided with protective gear.
“We demand that the government and all employers provide their healthcare workers with aprons, overalls, boots, respirators and face shields as part of their PPEs,” Dibore stated.
KUCO states that 85 per cent of health facilities they had reviewed did not provide face masks to patients with respiratory conditions.
The union further demanded that the government pay them extra special risk allowances to aid in fighting the pandemic. KUCO also stated that four out five of its members had no access to counselling services.
The publication reported that the medics had earlier on asked the government to address their fears as they tackle the Covid-9 pandemic.
19 groups of healthcare workers issued a statement arguing that the government must adhere to directives issued by the World Health Organisation on fighting the pandemic as far as equipment and preparedness are concerned.
KUCO asked that the government not to concentrate on the Covid-19 pandemic and neglect patients in need of other medical services.
He, however, raised concerns that they had not been prioritised owing to their crucial role in the fight against the pandemic.