Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) is now demanding the government to hire additional doctors.
According to KMPDU Secretary General Dr. Davji Atellah claimed that there is lack of enough healthcare staff to attend to patients.
He also said that hospitals in the country are overwhelmed and ICU facilities both in the public and private sector full.
“In the Central region, all the ICU beds are filled up, Western region has 18 beds in Kisumu and Nyanza there are only three beds,” Davji said.
They criticized the government’s decision to send some nurses to the United Kingdom rather than solve the shortfall in the country first.
The county has only 300 doctors serving more than 2.4 million Kenyans.
In Kiambu county, according to Davji, only Tigoni Level 4 Hospital has an ICU facility, which is already overwhelmed, while Gatundu has no isolation ward.
In Nairobi, Kenyatta National Hospital has only six ICU beds dedicated to Covid patients, none in Mama Lucy, Mbagathi and Nairobi Spinal hospitals.
Deputy secretary general of KMPDU Dennis Mbegah said his uncle, who had Covid-19, died because of a systemic failure at the facility than Covid itself.
His uncle checked in a public hospital in the city for a Covid-19 treatment on Monday last week and died two days later.
He says the lack of enough healthcare staff to attend to his uncle and failure to get an ICU bed in time led to his death within one week.
With inadequate human resources resulting in a ratio of one doctor per 16,000 patients, one doctor has to cover an entire isolation unit, while ICUs are run by junior medical officers. “Occasionally, you will find one or two nurses in an entire isolation ward.”
“I can confidently say that the patients dying in Kenya are not dying from Covid, they are dying from other issues because Covid affects other organs, it affects sugar, lungs, and what is killing them is that lack of supportive care,” Mbegah says.
“My uncle just knocked off his mask in the confusion at 8pm and he could not get just somebody to fix back the mask, by the time they are helping him it was so late that they had to look for an ICU. There was no ICU bed so waited for two hours and he only got an ICU bed because another patient died. That for you to be lucky, someone has to be unlucky and that is the reality.”
On vaccination, Davji said the government is not doing enough to vaccinate its population.
He pointed out that the country has been vaccinating only 100,000 people a month since March, there is not enough effort from the government to ensure expeditious vaccinations.
The Council of Governors also raised an alarm over sharp rise in infections.
According to CoG, facilities in counties are overstretched by the Delta variant.
The National positivity rate at 17.5 per cent after the country recorded 1,335 new cases from 7,605 samples.
The Ministry Health stated that as of August 3, 2021, a total of 1,741,581 vaccines had been administered across the Country.
Of these, 1,071,297 are first doses while second doses are 670,284.
The uptake of the second dose among those who received their first dose is at 62.6 per cent with the majority being males at 55 per cent while females are at 45 per cent.