TREATMENT AND PATIENT MANAGEMENT

Public health officials meet to review Covid guidelines

They express concern over rising cases of infections in Nairobi and areas around the metropolis

In Summary

• Dr Loice Ombajo who heads the Infectious Diseases Unit at Kenyatta National Hospital said there was concern over an increase in political gatherings.

• “We now have several variants and the only way to protect ourselves is through vaccination which is effective despite some myths from members of the public,” she said.

Dr Loice Ombajo who heads the Infectious Diseases Unit at Kenyatta National Hospital addresses the press in Naivasha on Monday, 19, 2021
PANDEMIC: Dr Loice Ombajo who heads the Infectious Diseases Unit at Kenyatta National Hospital addresses the press in Naivasha on Monday, 19, 2021
Image: GEORGE MURAGE

 Medics have warned of rising cases of Covid-19 in Nairobi and adjacent areas like Kiambu, saying the situation could reverse gains made in combating the pandemic.

They attributed the rising cases of infections to political gatherings.

Although the government banned political gatherings, politicians still hold roadside rallies where they address supporters after functions like church services and fundraisers.

But doctors say that ought to change or the infections could rapidly increase and overwhelm hospitals.

The concerns were raised on Monday during a meeting between officials of the World Health Organization and Ministry of Health representatives in Naivasha.

The meeting was to review the pandemic guidelines on patient management and treatment in the wake of new variants.

The officials met to upgrade and revise the current guidelines which have been in existence since the pandemic was first reported in Kenya last year.

Dr Loice Ombajo who heads the Infectious Diseases Unit at Kenyatta National Hospital said there was concern over an increase in political gatherings.

She gave the example of India that was hard hit by the Delta variant following an increase in political meetings.

“In the last one week, we have seen an upsurge in cases of Covid-19 in Nairobi and neighbouring towns and this could get worse in the coming days if the political meetings continue,” Ombajo said.

She said the country was not yet out of the woods even as cases in the Lake region decline.

The dusk-to-dawn curfew was escalated in 13 counties in the region to contain the Delta variant that was reported there.

Ombajo said the ongoing vaccination drive is the only way to beat the virus and open up the economy.

She said the virus was mutating, with new symptoms and complications, hence the need to review patient management.

“We now have several variants and the only way to protect ourselves is through vaccination which is effective despite some myths from members of the public,” she said.

WHO disease prevention and control officer Dr Joyce Onsongo admitted that there was a surge in new cases across the world due to the emerging variants.

Onsongo attributed the high fatalities across Africa to lack of capacity, medical equipment and poor community awareness.

“Kenya is doing great in terms of stopping the spread of this virus but we need to review the past guidelines, some of which have been overtaken by events and new variants,” she said.

 

Edited by P.O