Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe [photo: Nation]
Nov, 16th 2020 – Health CS Mutahi Kagwe has convened a special national emergency response committee today, to discuss the rising covid-19 fatalities and cases. The meeting comes as the number of positive cases hit 70,245 and the total death toll at 1,269 even as 352 recover from the virus.
In a statement, Kagwe said that last week has been a bad one following the death of four top medical doctors. He said that the meeting will review issues including healthcare workers who are our frontline soldiers. He said, “This is a big blow to our health sector, considering the healthcare workers are our frontline soldiers in this war. In view of the rising cases, as well as the rising fatality cases, I have in my capacity as the chairperson, convened a special meeting of the National Emergency Response Committee (NERC) tomorrow.“
He added that, “We shall also deliberate on the issues affecting healthcare workers countrywide including the supply of Personal Protective equipment and other enabling measures as they go about combating the virus among our people.
Following the deaths of the four doctors who are said to have contracted the virus while on duty, the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists (KMPDU) has issued a 21 day notice for strike in order to push the government to address their welfare during the pandemic.
KMPDU Secretary General Chibanzi Mwachonda after holding a special meeting urged the government to address issues including protective gears, salaries to be paid on time,, promotions, compensation packages, exumption from duties for doctors who are expectant or those with pre-existing conditions and comprehensive medical insurance for both doctors in private and public facilities in order to prevent the strike from happening.
The four doctors who have succumbed to Covid-19 are Hudson Alumera, Faith Kanjiru Mburu, Jackline Njoroge and Emarah Ashraf.