HEALTH CARE

Diabetes, hypertension patients bore brunt of Covid in Lamu—report

Most patients went off their clinical schedules and this endangered or slowed down their recovery

In Summary
  • The county CEC for Health Anne Gathoni said the review enabled the health department to identify key challenges.
  • The review also sought to track and discuss the general healthcare performance.
A man gets his blood pressure taken during a blood donation drive in Lamu island last year.
A man gets his blood pressure taken during a blood donation drive in Lamu island last year.
Image: CHETI PRAXIDES

Diabetes and hypertension patients in Lamu county suffered the brunt of Covid-19 pandemic which first hit Kenya in March 2020.

This is according to the county’s biannual health services performance review report released last week.

The review was aimed at monitoring, assessing and communicating the extent to which the facilities accomplished their major objectives, goals and to also resolve any gaps.

The review also sought to track and discuss the general healthcare performance, challenges, and innovations in Lamu to improve service delivery across the county.

The county CEC for Health Anne Gathoni said the review enabled the health department to identify key challenges including the fact that most diabetes and hypertension patients were unable to visit health facilities during the pandemic.

This also meant that the patients were not effectively monitored and advised on how to stay on course with their medication and the management of the diseases.

“Majority of these patients were unable or afraid to come to hospital for medication or follow up and reviews because of the Covid-19 pandemic,” Gathoni said.

This meant that most patients went off their clinical schedules, something that endangered or slowed down their recovery.

“This are underlying conditions, many people thought if they came to hospital and they are diabetic or hypertensive, they could easily contract Covid-19,” Gathoni added.

The two diseases are a countywide issue affecting a large part of Lamu’s elderly population, according to the health official.

She said the initial directive by the Ministry of Health asking Kenyans to keep off hospitals unless there was an emergency, also played a huge part in keeping patients in the two groups away from the hospitals during the early stages of the pandemic.

The reports also revealed that post and prenatal immunisation for pregnant women and babies was also affected as mothers kept away from hospitals for fear of contracting the disease.

“Covid-19 affected a lot of health indicators as poor health-seeking behaviour was witnessed, particularly in the first year of Covid-19 where people feared going to the hospital so as not to contract the disease,” she said.

She however said the county government was strategising on how to address the current shortcomings to enable better health care delivery.

The county director for Medical Services Abubakar Baasba said such reviews were crucial as they allow the county government to recognise excellence, address opportunities for improvement, and set goals for the following year.

“This provides appropriate information about the state of health which then informs health care planning systems in the most effective, efficient, and equitable manner and to the satisfaction of wananchi, healthcare workers and development partners,” Baasba said.

Lamu has four key hospitals and more than 30 dispensaries spread across the county.

The four hospitals include the King Fahad County Referral, Mpeketoni Sub-County, Witu and Mokowe hospitals in Lamu West and Faza hospital in Lamu East.

 

 

-Edited by SKanyara

Lamu county CEC for Health Anne Gathoni.
Lamu county CEC for Health Anne Gathoni.
Image: CHETI PRAXIDES
The King Fahd hospital in Lamu island.
The King Fahd hospital in Lamu island.
Image: CHETI PRAXIDES