Medics share experiences in coronavirus frontline

Thursday, April 2nd, 2020 00:00 |

Medical officers have come out to share their stories of fighting the coronavirus pandemic on the frontline.

In an exclusive interview with People Daily, the officers who requested anonymity said it is a delicate balancing act as they try to save those infected while trying to protect themselves from contracting the disease.

Referring to a case where one of their colleagues tested positive for the virus on Tuesday, they shared stories of exhaustion and heroism in the face of a disease that has killed one person and left more than 80 infected.

“Working for long hours is one challenge which we are facing. We are being forced to keep away from our families to avoid exposing them.

As we speak, we are already exhausted but we are not going to give up anytime soon,” revealed one medic who has been handling the patients.

Director General of Health Dr Patrick Amoth yesterday confirmed the case, saying the nurse who works at Ngara Health Centre interacted with a Nigerian citizen more than two weeks ago when he visited the facility for treatment.

However, he said the medic, her husband who also tested positive and the Nigeria citizen are doing well at Mbagathi Hospital where they are being treated.

“The situation is under control and we have managed to trace most of the people she interacted with especially her house help and the children,” he said.

Currently, the government has placed 56 health workers under quarantine interacted with an infected medic.

First case

Another medic, said since Kenya confirmed its first case, she has a little time with her family as she has been spending most of her time in hospital handling patients.

“It has been tough for me as my family wishes I was there everyday but I have no option but to work. However it’s my prayer that we will conquer this disease,” she said.

Further, the nurse advised Kenyans to heed to the government call of observing social distance maintaining that it will be the best way to deal with the disease. Dozens of health officers have died in the world in the line of duty.

 Globally, medics at the centre of the outbreak have shared images of exhausted staff as their hospitals buckle under the pressure. 

Only a fraction of Kenya’s estimated 100,000 healthcare workers have received instruction on how to protect themselves and handle the Covid-19 patients.

Shortage of personal protective equipment is another challenge they raised saying if the government fails to provide more especially, the N95 masks, they could be in more danger.

Surgical masks

N95 masks are good as they are thicker and fit well than surgical masks.  Surgical masks only block large particle droplets, while N95 masks filter out 95 per cent of all airborne particles when used correctly.

“ Given the spread of the Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)  among health workers, we recommend that all the frontline health workers in clinics and emergency departments, wear surgical masks while on duty. 

We recommend the use of N95 mask and eye protection device whenever dealing with Covid-19 case,” said Infectious Disease Society of Kenya in an advisory.

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