Catholic Bishops call for reforms amid gaps in healthcare system

Written By: Margaret Kalekye
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The Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops is calling for the protection of healthcare workers just days after the death of four top specialists in a single day sent shockwaves across the country.

The Catholic Church has expressed concern over the number of health workers succumbing to Covid-19 as the virus continues to ravage the country.

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In a statement Friday, the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops is calling for the protection of healthcare workers just days after the death of four top specialists in a single day sent shockwaves across the country.

November has gone down as the darkest month since the pandemic hit the country in March. The deadly second wave has claimed top medics and prominent personalities amid an unrelenting surge in Covid-19 cases, positivity rates and mortality rates.

So far, 30 health workers have succumbed to the virus while hundreds have been infected.

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The concern by the catholic bishops coming in the wake of Kenya Medical Practitioners Pharmacists and Dentists Union outcry over the loss of 10 senior doctors to the pandemic.

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“These have been the force behind our many reported recoveries and have given Kenyans the much-needed hope during this difficult period. We remain concerned” reads their statement.

The doctors have accused the government of exposing them to injurious working conditions which exposed them to coronavirus vulnerability.

The bishops candid statement appears to lay blame on the government for the woes faced by frontline workers noting that the deaths of the medics outrightly exposes the weakness of the country’s healthcare system.

“We remain concerned that, despite budget availability and commitment by the Executive, resources have not been consistently provided to support the health care system to adequately respond to this pandemic, leaving health-care workers exposed and vulnerable” KCCB chairman Most Rev Philip Anyolo remarked.

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The church which is in solidarity with the doctors is further appealing to the government to move with speed and avail requisite resources to ramp up the health-care system.

“We cannot continue to watch the only hope of the Kenyan people go down through loss of hope and especially loss of life as we have witnessed in the past few days….As such, we ask the Government leadership to move with haste to prioritize the available resources within Government and provide the required facilitation to the health-care system to allow it to respond to the burden of this disease”.

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This even as the bishops called for dialogue to avert the impending strike.

“With a looming Doctors’ strike and disquiet among other cadres, we also ask for urgent but genuine dialogue with health-care workers’ Unions so that their concerns can be meaningfully listened to and addressed,” they said.

The bishops took a swipe at a section of leaders for disregarding the laid down protocols.

“We, the Catholic Bishops, are convinced that undertaking the right measures as guided by the health authorities and adopting these with speed, the spread of this virus can still be contained”

 

 

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