EFFORTS IN VAIN

We did our best for Covid-19 patient — Wajir Health CEC

Sheikh says it insensitive and ill-advised for anyone to insinuate county has failed its duties

In Summary

• Health executive Ismail Sheikh told journalists in Wajir town that contrary to the allegations, the ICU was functional and the oxygen support provided stabilised the patient until when he died.

Wajir county Health Executive Ismail Sheikh in Wajir on Saturday.
Wajir county Health Executive Ismail Sheikh in Wajir on Saturday.
Image: STEPHEN ASTARIKO

 

The Wajir administration on Monday strongly defended itself from allegations that it did little to save the life of a Covid-19 patient who died on Saturday. 

Abdi Yussuf was the longest-serving public health officer in the county and netizens castigated the leaders for perceived negligence.

But Health executive Ismail Sheikh told journalists in Wajir town that contrary to the allegations, the ICU was functional and the oxygen support provided stabilised the patient until when he died.

“It is therefore insensitive and ill-advised for anyone to insinuate the County Department of Health and by extension, the County Government of Wajir has failed its duties,” he said.

Sheikh said the patient, 58, was received on July 23 at around 6.30pm at the Out-Patient Department. He had a six-day history of difficulty in breathing, high fever and dry cough. The patient complained of occasional vomiting as well.

Ismail who was flanked by other senior officers in the department and the chief officer Abdullahi Hassan said the patient had visited other health facilities. There, he was given multiple antibiotics as an outpatient but registered no improvements in his medical condition.

On worsening symptoms, he was presented at the Wajir County Referral Hospital and was admitted on account of his sickly and frail appearance with obvious respiratory distress despite being alert.

His vitals were stable except for his saturation which was between 40 on room air to 60 per cent on oxygen via prongs at 4L. 

The patient was immediately isolated at the Covid-19 unit where he was propped on oxygen and other medical support.

“He spent the night of July 23 in the unit manned by our Covid-19 and ICU teams. He was on oxygen support the whole night, due to his inability to saturate as per the norm of above 90 per cent, as other necessary medications were given to normalise his condition,” Sheikh said.  

The following day, on July 24, the patient was still in respiratory distress and saturating between 30 to 80 per cent. Due treatment was given and further kept on oxygen support. 

“At around 11.20am, on the same day, the patient deteriorated further and started gasping for air. A code red was called for and Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) started immediately. Sadly, at around 11.30am and after several cycles of CPR, the patient unfortunately succumbed due to cardiopulmonary collapse and complications,” Sheik said. 

Governor Mohamed Abdi sent his message of condolence to the family and prayed “to the Almighty Allah to bless his soul and accord the bereaved family and friends patience during this painful period of loss”.

“As a county, we have lost the longest-serving officer who was treasured for his honesty and commitment. The best send-off we can offer our late colleague is to offer him our infinite prayers and support his dependents while ensuring that we combat this pandemic with utmost zeal and precision,” Abdi said.

Until his death, Abdi was the Tarbaj Subcounty public health officer.