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Doctor, 28, succumbs to Covid after five days in intensive care

By Noah Cheploen
Tuesday, December 8th, 2020
Dr Stephen Mogusu succumbed to Covid-19 on Monday. PD/File
In summary

Noah Cheploen @cheploennoah

“Save yourselves,” these were the last words of a doctor to his colleagues. Dr Stephen Mogusu died yesterday after battling Covid-19 for five days in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

The 28-year-old doctor, serving in Machakos County under the Universal Health Coverage pilot programme, succumbed to the deadly virus hours after posting an ominous warning on his social media account, to his fellow medics to guard themselves against the disease.

In the post, the deceased wrote: “My dear colleagues, let me take this opportunity to admonish you today to get your pay or get out while you can, with your health or life intact.

I have had the Covid-19 ARDS for five days and I say not even a full pocket can replenish what has been lost, on high 02 flows all manner of masks and begging for one more gasp of fresh air,” he wrote.

“Usually I’d write and write but today I just want to say save your miserable selves from those institutions, you’ll live to earn again.

I am not in any way inviting arguments or response to my post, I am too weak to type anymore.

Save yourselves,” he concluded in what is believed to have been his last words, as he lay on his death bed.

Sorry state

The sorry state of Mogusu’s death was accentuated by the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Union (KMPDU) who announced his death on its social media account, stating that the young medic had died in abject poverty after going without a salary for five months.

“Devastating to announce the demise of 28-year-old Dr Mogusu who has succumbed to Covid-19 complications.

At the time of his death, he had not received his salary for five months, had no insurance and his young family left with no compensation. Too steep a price for opatriotism,” the union protested.

Earlier, Dr Chibanzi Mwachonda, the union’s acting Secretary General had led an online funds drive for the medic’s family.

Mogusu had been admitted to the Kenyatta University Teaching, Referral and Research Hospital ICU.

“The family of Mogusu, a frontline soldier who is battling for his life in ICU due to Covid-19 complications, is appealing to Kenyans of good will to contribute for his urgent medical expenses. The sad reality of our doctors,” Mwachonda said on Twitter.

Mogusu joins a growing list of doctors who have succumbed to the virus since it first hit Kenya in March this year.

The other doctors who have lost the battle to Covid-19  are Doreen Adisa Lugaliki ( an obstetrician gynaecologist), Ndambuki Mboloi,( a pulmonologist), Daniel Alushula (an orthopedic surgeon), Vladimir Schuckin, (, a bariatric surgeon),  Hudsonn Inyangala (a public health specialist and Emarah Ashrat, a plastic surgeon.

Risk allowance

Others who have also perished include Robert Ayisi a paediatrician, Hudson Alumera; a periodontal surgeon,  Faith Mbuba; a pharmacist and Jackline Njoroge; a physician.

  In their other demands, the doctors’ union is demanding for a health risk allowance maintaining that every health worker should be given Sh30,000 as allowance.

Mogusu died on the day ODM leader Raila Odinga admonished doctors for going on strike to press for their rights, at a time the country was experiencing serious economic hardships.

Speaking in Kisumu, Raila said: “Doctors need to be more understanding, we are in a crisis at the moment, people are dying, it is not only doctors who are dying. We are in a dire situation as the economy is hurting during the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Mogusu died as the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the country has risen to 88,579 after 199 more people tested positive from some 2,416 samples conducted in the last 24 hours.

In a statement detailing the day’s coronavirus situation in the country, Health Cabinet Secretary  (CS) Mutahi Kagwe, said that 177 of them are Kenyans while 22 are foreigners. 

“In terms of gender, 123 are males and 76 are females,” he said, adding that the youngest is three-years old while the oldest is 90.

Nairobi, which contributes more than half of the national caseload, leads again with 77 new cases followed by Mombasa with 21, Busia (20), Uasin Gishu (19), Meru (11), Kiambu (nine), West Pokot (seven, Kilifi (seven) and Turkana (five) among others.

He said that five more patients had succumbed to the disease, bringing the number of fatalities to 1,531. 

“Our sincere condolences to the families and friends of those who have lost their loved ones,” he said.

Kagwe said that the number of patients admitted in various hospitals across the country stands at 1,171, while those under the Home Based Care programme stands at 8, 127.  He pointed out that 83 patients are currently battling for their lives at the ICU.

According to him, 40 are being supported to breath by ventilators while 42 are on supplemental oxygen and one is under observation. 

“Another 70 patients are separately on supplementary oxygen out of which 62 are in the general ward, eight are in the High Dependency Unit .”

On a positive note, 485 patients have been discharged after recovering from the disease bringing the number of recoveries to 69, 414. 

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