Covid-19 ravaging Kenya as political temperature heighten for 2022

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By Ibrahim Jaafar Olum

A section of Kenyans are criticizing the famous Handshake deal between President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga for taking the spread of Covid-19 in the country lightly and instead championing for a referendum in the name of ‘Building Bridges Initiative’ (BBI).

Many Kenyans are now calling for an end of the BBI political campaign to enable the country to focus on curbing the virus that in this second wave is killing Kenyans than never before.

“…Covid is ravaging our country; Covid is cutting oxygen from the living; Covid is snubbing life out of our health workers; Covid is killing Kenyans; Kenyans can’t breath; But no worry inconsiderate leaders-are singing BBI instead of ventilators in our hospitals. How heartless can some leaders be?…” lamented a concerned Kenyan Poet by the pen name Mtoto wa Kenya Zawadi ya Mungu.

However, Musalia Mudavadi, former vice president has urged his political counterparts and Kenyans to build consensus in order to have a non-contestant referendum.

“It will save the country resources that should be channeled towards fighting Covid-19”, said Mudavadi. “Consensus will re-focus the country into addressing the plight of FrontLine Health Workers who have put their lines in danger to save millions,” he added.

According to data from Kenya Medical Practioners Pharmacists and Dentist Union indicates that around 800 doctors, 320 clinical officers and 600 nurses have so far been infected by covid-19. Fifteen nurses and eight doctors have died. The recent death being a young doctor at Kenyatta National Hospital Dr. Mahad Ali who died in his sleep after working all day and carried surgeries during the day. Other doctors are ill and admitted.

This comes at a time when Kenya’ Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said that Doctors should not expect any special treatment because they are not the ones in the front line.

Mr. Mohammed Hersi, hotelier said that Kenya is at war and must round up all available resources, motivate and protect health front liners. 

“If we don’t do that who will protect us?, asked Hersi.

Kenya Medical Practioners Pharmacists and Dentists Council reveals that there are 9,096 Kenyan doctors licensed to take care of 47,564, 296 Kenyans, of these 2,591 are specialists, translating to one doctor (indigenous) for every 5,224 people. Foreign medics are 228 when added to the indigenous doctors, it take the ratio to one doctor per 5,101 people, this is way below the one doctor per 1,000 that the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends.

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