DISEASE BURDEN

Covid-19 pandemic no reason to forget other diseases

In Summary
  • New HIV infections may rise, due to the ongoing shortage of drugs and commodities 
  • Experts are now warning that there could be a rise in such 'forgotten diseases' unless the fight goes hand in hand with the battle against Covid-19
A nurse injects a minor with a vaccine during the launch of the five-day measles vaccination campaign in Naivasha in 2014.
A nurse injects a minor with a vaccine during the launch of the five-day measles vaccination campaign in Naivasha in 2014.
Image: FILE

Kenya, like other countries, is going through a difficult time battling the Covid-19 pandemic.

The health system is grappling with a large number of patients even as Covid-19 vaccination continues.

Personnel and resources are focused towards combating Covid-19, eclipsing the containment of other diseases.

Kenyans are already facing challenges in accessing services such measles immunisation, cancer treatment and care, and shortage of ARVs and HIV kits  

At least seven million susceptible children have not received booster doses for measles since 2016 yet it is the most infectious virus in the world.

A nationwide drive first due in February 2019 was postponed for lack of funds, then by the Covid-19 pandemic last year.

A mass polio vaccination campaign was planned for mid-last year but was also postponed due to Covid-19. Vaccination to prevent cervical cancer has also been disrupted. 

New HIV infections may rise, due to the ongoing shortage of drugs and commodities. 

Experts are now warning that there could be a rise in such 'forgotten diseases' unless the fight goes hand in hand with the battle against Covid-19.

It is therefore imperative that even as we focus on containing Covid-19, the country should not forget the other dangerous diseases lurking in the corner.

Quote of the Day: "The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom."

Isaac Asimov

 The American writer and professor of biochemistry died on April 6, 1992.