- Official says they have a number of hypotheses. One is residents could be afraid of going to hospital for fear of getting infected with the coronavirus.
- Two, Covid-19 precautions could be having a high impact.
Patients seeking services at Nyeri health facilities have reduced by about 50 per cent since the first Covid-19 case was confirmed.
County director of medical services Nelson Muriu told the Star on Friday that this has been witnessed in inpatient and outpatient departments.
He said research is being carried out to establish the reasons. Muriu said the county will use community health volunteers to find out what the problem is.
They have a number of hypotheses, he said. One is residents could be afraid of going to hospital for fear of getting infected with the coronavirus.
“They think Covid-19 is in hospitals and so they are afraid to go there,” Muriu said.
“Two, we could be seeing the effects of handwashing and sanitising, face-mask wearing and social distancing, among others, all of which have serious preventive aspects.”
Handwashing is a very old but workable public health intervention, he said.
The precautions, Muriu said, could be having a high impact with the fruits being realised through the reduction in patient number.
The measures could have prevented diarrheal diseases and upper respiratory tract infections, he added.
Diarrhoeal diseases include cholera and dysentery, while upper respiratory tract infections are nasal obstruction, sore throat, otitis media, tonsillitis, pharyngitis, laryngitis, sinusitis and the common cold.
The county has also been using various avenues to reach out to the community. For instance, Muriu said, the county is working with one of its partners, PharmAccess Foundation, to sensitise the public.
Those registered under UHC (universal health coverage) have been receiving bulk SMSs that advise on various medical issues.
“All Nyeri county hospitals are open and providing services during this Covid-19 pandemic. Do not stay at home if you are sick,” reads one of the messages.
Edited by Josephine M. Mayuya