Senators raise alarm as more healthcare staff die of corona
Hillary Mageka @hillarymageka
Senators yesterday raised the red flag over the growing number of healthcare workers who succumb to Covid-19 in the wake of a second wave of infections.
Their concern came even as medics in some counties threatened to go on strike owing to lack of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs), delayed salaries and other deplorable conditions.
Led by Wajir Senator Ali Abdullahi, his counterparts Samson Cherargei (Nandi), Cleophas Malala (Kakamega) and Alice Milgo (Nominated) claimed the infections and subsequent deaths are as a result of frontline workers operating under deplorable conditions and without PPEs.
If the situation is not averted, the legislators have cautioned, more lives would be lost to the virus.
“There are no ICU beds to cater for Covid-19 patients. Many front line health workers still have a challenge in accessing PPEs,” Senator Milgo said.
“Health workers are dying everywhere en masse because they do not have PPEs.
They are not even given sanitisers, and there are also no proper equipment to use in the health facilities,” Senator Abdullahi said.
He added: “These health workers have to work with the people by helping them.
They cannot just say they do not have this and that, and so, we will not do this. They have to do what they need to do.”
So far 16 healthcare workers have scuccumbed to Covid-19 while 945 have contracted the virus since mid-March when the first positive case was reported in the country.
Cherargei said the hardest hit lot are the medics.
He said it is so sad that the President announced at the beginning of containment measures that healthcare workers would be given risk allowance and provided with PPEs.
“To date, we find health workers going public, addressing the press and threatening to down their tools not only here in Nairobi City County, but also other counties. They are only begging for risk allowance,” he said.
He added: “We are not giving them PPEs, risk allowance and a good environment on how to fight this invisible enemy.”