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KUCO wants state to protect vulnerable specialists in counties

Kenya Union of Clinical Officers is calling on the state to put in place measures to protect vulnerable health specialists from contracting Covid-19.

Union spoke after President Uhuru Kenyatta on Monday instructed Ministry of Health (MoH)to develop short term protocols to retain retired anesthetists and ICU staff to support staff assigned to dealing with serious cases in the counties.

KUCO observing that retired or retiring specialists are people who have attained the age of 55 years and above, a category of people that has proven vulnerable to the novel virus.

The exact number of such specialists has not been established but earlier, the state had directed all civil of the vulnerable age work from home.

 “If you want to hold people who are vulnerable to continue offering services is a good thing but you need to come up with a way on how they are going to be protected. We really need their expertise because these are the people who have a good knowledge about what they have been doing and medicine is about experience.” said George Gibore, the union’s secretary general.

President Uhuru Kenyatta addressing the nation on covid-19. [p/courtesy]

Gibore further added that the number of the specialists to be retained is not high, pointing that some counties have 10 or less which has left the system nearly paralysed in some counties.

It means that despite the state advertising for the positions of anesthetists, many positions did not get the exact numbers they had targeted.

“We are quick to state what we want and actually very sluggishly adopt the position and implement what we are supposed to be doing,” Gibore added.

The move to retain the specialists on temporary basis comes as Kenya continues to record rising positive cases with the death toll hitting 311.

Kenya recorded 544 new cases on and 14 deaths on wednesday. The number of coronavirus cases now stand at 19,125 as the Health CS Mutahi Kagwe warned quacks from passing false information about the virus to Kenyans.

The country is grappling with every effort to contain the pandemic as the ministry announced plans to set up a 60-bed capacity at the Kenyatta University Teaching and Referral Hospital.

At the moment, Intensive Care Unit beds are full with Kagwe warning that numbers of critical cases are likely to shoot with increased cases of the virus in the country.

Gibore said that critical patients need many people to attend to them at all the time supervising and monitoring the progress while under medication.

“They talk about increasing beds and even facilities they want to be used for isolation and quarantine yet we are still under-staffed.”

He further said that retaining the specialists will add a small value arguing that the state should hire more medics and train health workers to respond to covid-19 disease.

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