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NOT ENOUGH ISOLATION BEDS

Covid-19 home care: 8,000 medics, 25,000 workers trained

Preparations made for home care of asymptomatic only patients to ease burden on public facilities.

In Summary

• Health ministry releases protocols for home care of asymptomatic Covid-19 patients to be isolated and treated to reduce the burden on health facilities.

• Uasin Gishu has more than 90 Covid-19 patients and some isolation facilities at Kamalel already exceed bed capacity.

Medics outside the Kamalel Isolation Center in Eldoret.
OVER CAPACITY: Medics outside the Kamalel Isolation Center in Eldoret.
Image: MATHEWS NDANYI

North Rift governors welcome the plan for home care for asymptomatic Covid-19 patients but want additional healthcare staff to strictly monitor the programme.

The Ministry of Health has released protocols for home care that will isolate and treat all Covid-19 patients to reduce the burden on health facilities.

The World Health Organization approved home care as the risk of asymptomatic patients spreading the virus was minimal. Only patients without symptoms will be treated at home.

 

Uasin Gishu county, which has more than 90 Covid-19 patients, says some isolation facilities at Kamalel are overstretched beyond bed capacity.

The national government requires each county to have more than 300 isolation beds in the near future.

“Home-based care is the way to go because we are told more than 70 per cent of the patients are not sick and have no symptoms. There is no need to keep such people in overstretched facilities,” Nandi Governor Stephan Sang said.

He said home care is cheaper and aids quick recovery.

“Home care requires many medical staff to enforce and monitor protocols,” the governor said. He said Nandi has trained more than 1,300 medical staff to handle Covid-19 at home.

Uasin Gishu Health executive Everlyne Rotich said the county has trained more than 1,000 community health volunteers to enforce home care programmes.

The eight counties in the North Rift have trained more than 8,000 healthcare staff and 25,000 community health workers to handle Covid-19.

 

Trans Nzoia Governor Patrick Khaemba said counties will require additional support from the national government to train more medics and community workers for home care.

“Our hospitals have no capacity to admit all Covid-19 patients so home care will be important. But it must be handled carefully to avoid an explosion of the disease in the communities,” Khaemba said.

Meanwhile, the government has warned communities in Uasin Gishu against resisting set up of Covid-19 isolation centres within their areas due to stigmatisation of the community and fears the virus will infect others.

Uasin Gishu county commissioner Abdrisack Jaldesa said more hospitals and other institutions will be used as isolation centres for confirmed patients and residents would not be allowed to interfere.

Jaldesa said the hospitals and institutions selected to be isolation centres belong to the government, which has the final decision on the location of the Covid-19 isolation units.

Communities in Kapseret, Kiplombe and Ainabkoi have rejected plans by Uasin Gishu to set up additional isolation facilities.

 (Edited by V. Graham)