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Political rallies, a hindrance to Covid recovery- Doctors say

Doctors now say the current political gatherings across the country might jeopardise gains made in the fight against Covid-19.

Through their union KMDPU the doctors said despite the situation looking like it is under control, political rallies that continue to be held across the country and the general laxity that continues to be exhibited by Kenyans puts the gains made at the risk of reversal.

Speaking in Nairobi on Saturday, Mwachonda said the oft-repeated measures of hand hygiene with soap and water, wearing masks, observing social distance and avoiding crowded public places and unnecessary travel remain the cornerstone of COVID19 mitigation.

He said political gatherings held in disregard of COVID-19 prevention measures sends the wrong messages to the public who will follow suit and relax their observance of COVID19 measures.

“There is absolutely no benefit of risking a preventable spike in the number of COVID19 infections at the altar of politicking. Any spike in COVID19 cases will affect the health workers disproportionately more than any other group of Kenyans,” he said.

The union further called on the two levels of governments to resolve the prolonged strike in the health sector.

Mwachonda said healthcare workers must be involved directly in the vaccination process adding that without the involvement of healthcare workers getting Kenyans to accept the vaccine is going to be a tough challenge.

He said disputes in the sector are yet to be resolved fully rendering most public facilities in some counties un-operational.

“Nurses and clinical officers are not back to work in most county facilities and that is a big concern because even as doctors we are dealing with very dire patients with little resources and support in terms of human resources for health,” KMDPU SG Chibanzi Mwachonda said.

They have called on the Health Ministry and the new Council of Governor’s leadership to take up leadership and resolve the pending matters.

“The contract extension of the doctors working in the Covid-19 isolation and treatment centres that have come to an end should be renewed. The country cannot afford to let its doctors go back home and stay without work and yet we still have a Covid situation in the country,” he said.

Nurses and clinical officers have been on strike since December 7, with lab technicians joining the strike a month later.

“The Covid -19 situation in the country is very much with us. We have patients who are still coming to the facilities with Covid and for the first time you have seen the lowest number of infections among healthcare workers and almost zero deaths because we are not working optimally,” the SG said.

He added: “That tells you that the absence of healthcare workers from the facilities has shown that healthcare workers get infected in the facilities”.

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