Patients keep off hospitals for fear of Corona – CAS

Friday, July 24th, 2020 00:00 | By
Health CAS Mercy Mwangangi addresses a Covid-19 press briefing. Photo/PD/File

The number of patients seeking treatment in health facilities in the last three months has dropped by 30 per cent, the Ministry of Health said yesterday.

This sudden fall has been attributed to the dreaded Coronavirus as Kenyans stayed away from healthcare facilities for fear of contracting the disease.

Health Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) Dr Mercy Mwangangi observed that the sudden fall in numbers was a major point of concern for the ministry since it would present some ramifications in the long run especially for people with chronic ailments.

During yesterday’s briefing on the Coronavirus situation in the country, Dr Mwangangi said the ministry is particularly concerned that hundreds of HIV/Aids, TB and diabetic among other patients might have skipped taking their drugs therefore complicating matters.

In some cases, a drop of about 40 per cent was witnessed as arthritis patients and women seeking gynecology services shied away.

“We have just recently concluded our first assessment draft (report) on continuity of essential health services but preliminary results indicate that there was a significant dip in terms of attendances to hospitals,” she said. 

Hospital deliveries

The CAS added that there was also a 20 per cent decline in the number of mothers taking their children for immunisation particularly DPT (whooping cough).

She further observed that hospital deliveries also dropped by 20 per cent.

“The graph went down between March and April, the curve went down drastically but there was some resurgence in May where we are witnessing some form of normalisation,” she said. 

“And, that is a problem but we have a team working on it to ensure we bring the confidence back and that people are able to attend clinics and get the necessary care and treatment they need,” she added. 

Speaking on a day the country recorded the highest number of confirmed cases in 24 hours, some 796 from 6,754 samples were confirmed positive. 

Mwangangi has urged Kenyans not to fear seeking medical care and assured the public that the government has put in place contingency plans to ensure that the virus does not overrun the health facilities. “We are observing the situation as it evolves,” she said.

More on News