Kenyan healthcare workers launch online welfare campaign

Medical practitioners in the country have launched a social media campaign aimed at demanding for better Personal Protective Equipment’s (PPEs) as well as improved welfare during this COVID-19 period.

Through their union, Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) the medics are calling on the government to handle their welfare better because they are on the frontline in fighting the pandemic.

The campaign carried out through their social media platforms honours Dr Doreen Adisa who was the first doctor to succumb to Covid-19 even as the union grapples with an increase in the number of doctors who have fallen in the line of duty.

In their campaign, dubbed “#IamAdisa, the health workers in a clip shared online say that they want beds, better PPEs as well have an insurance.

“My health, my life as a doctor is no longer in my hands,” they say in the video clip that they have shared on their social media pages.

The clip further shows the practitioners calling on the government to provide them with psychiatric services.

“It is time to ensure we secure the safety of front line workers. We lost Adisa, would you protect me. Am I next?” the video clip goes on.

Dr Adisa, aged 38 years, succumbed to Covid-19 related complications after being admitted at the Aga Khan University Hospital, becoming the first doctor to die from infection by the pandemic.

A total of 768 medical workers have tested positive to the virus with 14 more health workers among the 423 fatalities who have succumbed to the virus in the country.

The National Nurses Association of Kenya (NNAK) and the Kenya National Union of Nurses (KNUN) in a recent press briefing cautioned that soon it will be difficult for the public to get health services as more medics contract the virus.

The Kenya National Union of Nurses (KNUN) early this month asked the government to pay nurses a Sh20, 000 monthly permanent risk allowance for their contribution in the fight against coronavirus.

Meanwhile the Ministry of Health has announced a raft of measures to be implemented by health facilities in order to minimize the transmission of the deadly Covid-19 to healthcare workers.

“When health workers are at risk, we are all at risk. In the context of the rapidly evolving Covid-19 pandemic, occupational health and safety systems are critical. Hence the Ministry of Health has come up with infection and control health strategies to limit transmission at health facilities,” Dr Aman had said in one of the early pressers.

The Union’s Secretary-General Seth Panyako said majority of the nurses who are in the front-line in battling the pandemic have contracted the virus hence the need to consider paying them the risk allowance.

Kenya Medical Practitioners Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPPDU) acting Secretary General Dr Chibanzi Mwachonda also tested positive for coronavirus.

KEMRI Corporate Affairs Director Kamau Mugenda who succumbed to Covid-19 was laid to rest this week, further darkening the status of Doctors who have threatened on several occasions to down their tools if their welfare is not adequately taken care of.


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