Private hospitals on the spot over results

By People Team
Monday, August 10th, 2020
Health CS Mutahi Kagwe hands over Personal Protective Equipment to Kisumu Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o yesterday. Photo/PD/Viola KOSOME
In summary
    • Health CS Mutahi Kagwe has now put on notice heath practitioners’ of dire consequences if found issuing invalid certificates for Covid related deaths
    • Kagwe warned that the trend of altering results of peolpe who die of Corona could lead to a further spike in the virus spread.

Baraka Karama and Noven Owiti

 Private health facilities are on the spot for allegedly issuing false results for people who die of Covid-19 to beat the strict government protocols for burying victims of the disease.

According to government protocols, persons who die of Covid-19 must be buried by health officials donning Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs). 

The burial ceremony must be attended by less than 20 persons and within hours of the death.

 Yesterday, Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe warned that the trend where some health facilities altered the results of persons who had died of Corona  could lead to a further spike in the virus spread.

 Kagwe said there were emerging concerns about some medics, mostly in the private hospitals, colluding with bereaved families to give false Covid-19 results regarding the virus related deaths.

 He has now put on notice heath practitioners’ of dire consequences if found issuing invalid certificates for Covid-related deaths.  

He stated that some of the medics go to the extent of denying valid positive results to family members or people who die from Covid-19 complications.

  “It has come to our attention that these doctors are apparently undermining the process of protecting families by exploiting their emotions and colluding with some of them to ensure that burial rites are observed normally,” he said.  

 The CS warned that the trend was putting to risk families of the dead persons.

“People who succumb to Covid-19 do so at their most infectious state and if buried as regular fatalities without the protective measures in place, it leaves everyone who is close to them very exposed,” the CS said during his daily briefing at the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital in Kisumu yesterday.

Kagwe, who toured the county to assess the level of preparedness to deal with the Covid pandemic directed health officials to initiate a post human test in instances where a difference in opinion regarding the cause of death is encountered.

 He called for honesty among families and health practitioners in dealing with the virus related deaths.

 “Let us all be honest in responding to the virus containment measures. There should be absolutely no reason why a doctor should issue a negative certificate to a Corona positive death so that the death can be a normal burial to remove stigma,” he added.

At the same time, the minister reiterated the government’s commitment to protect frontline healthcare workers while urging counties ensure full compliance by procure certified Personal Protective Equipment to protect their frontline health workers.

Huge population

“I wish to encourage all the counties to ensure that our healthcare workers are protected by procuring and issuing the right protective gears,” he said.

 He stressed the need for Kenyans to continue observing Ministry of Health protocols on the virus containment.

Kagwe was accompanied by his Education counterpart Prof George Magoha, Kisumu Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o and Health Director General Dr Patrick Amoth.

Nyong’o assured of his commitment to combat the virus spread, noting that 401 isolation bed capacity had been set aside to handle rising cases.

In the MOH report, the country recorded the highest covid-19 recoveries in the last 24 hours at 1062.

Two patients however lost their battle to the disease. The total fatalities now stand at 420.

The country also registered another 599 new covid positive cases, bringing the tally to 26,436 cases.

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