MISINFORMATION

Lies, half-truths hampering fight against non-communicable diseases - Kagwe

CS says lies presented a challenge in monitoring, managing cancer and diabetes.

In Summary

• The CS said that lies and half-truths have presented a challenge in monitoring and managing cancer, diabetes, hypertension.

• Kagwe termed the misinformation and disinformation surrounding reforms in the health sector as a monstrous enemy that threatens to erode progress made in the health sector in Africa.

Health CS Mutahi Kagwe speaking to Kibera residents on the last day of the first phase of the Polio Vaccination Excercise at the Kibera Vaccination Center on May 26, 2021.
Health CS Mutahi Kagwe speaking to Kibera residents on the last day of the first phase of the Polio Vaccination Excercise at the Kibera Vaccination Center on May 26, 2021.
Image: CHARLENE MALWA

Health CS Mutahi Kagwe has decried the impact of misinformation and disinformation in ongoing reforms in the health sector.

The CS said that lies and half-truths have presented a challenge in monitoring and managing cancer, diabetes, hypertension.

“Lies and half-truths have instilled a sense of fear among members of the public against visiting hospitals, and this has presented a challenge in monitoring and managing cancer, diabetes, hypertension, and other non-communicable diseases,” Kagwe said.

Kagwe was speaking on Wednesday during the Unesco webinar on managing Covid-19 and Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs).

“This is a monstrous enemy that threatens to erode progress made in the health sector in Africa,” he said.

Kagwe has also said that the ministry has put journalists at the forefront of receiving the Covid vaccine in order to enhance their capacity to safely cover the pandemic.

He lauded the media for its social responsibility of keeping the citizenry informed, adding that the efforts have improved adherence to the Ministry of Health’s protocols and guidelines against Covid-19.

By the end of the year, around half of Covid-19 deaths in Kenya occurred in people with NCDs while in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, such patients accounted for 85 per cent of all Covid-19 deaths.

These chronic conditions require continuous treatment, but as governments address the ongoing pandemic, health services for NCDs have been severely disrupted.

“Millions of Africans living with non-communicable diseases are at greater risk of complications or dying from Covid-19,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO regional director for Africa.

WHO had also stated that Africans living with non-communicable diseases such as hypertension and diabetes are more likely to suffer severe cases of Covid-19 and die.