Kenyan Doctors say no ICU spaces left, as country faces third COVID-19 wave

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NAIROBI, KENYA - 2020/03/06: Health workers dressed in protective suits at the Coronavirus isolation ward in Mbagathi hospital amid Coronavirus fears in Nairobi. (Photo by Dennis Sigwe/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

The Kenya Medical Practitioners Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) warns that there are no spaces left within intensive care units (ICUs) across the country.

Acting Secretary-General KMPDU Dr. Chibanzi Mwachonda urged all members of the public and the political leadership to adhere to COVID-19 protocols to save healthcare workers.

“The rising numbers of COVID-19 infections have not spared healthcare workers. 10 doctors are currently admitted to various hospitals yet we are at a point where we need many doctors in the counties,” he said during a press conference on Tuesday.

NAIROBI, KENYA – 2020/03/06: Health workers dressed in protective suits at the Coronavirus isolation ward in Mbagathi hospital amid Coronavirus fears in Nairobi. (Photo by Dennis Sigwe/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

According to Dr. Mwachonda, Kenya is at the tipping point of the pandemic and the union has noted with concern the general state of laxity in adherence to COVID-19 measures in the country.

He reiterated that rising number of infections will lead to a high caseload and overwhelm the already stretched healthcare system as evidenced by the lack of adequate ICU units and personnel to handle severe COVID-19 cases.

“The counties are the weakest link to the COVID-19 response,” he said, adding that the acute shortage of doctors across the country is detrimental to health services delivery amidst the pandemic.

Mwachonda also expressed KMPDU’s support of the nationwide coronavirus vaccine rollout saying, “We thank the government for securing vaccine doses under COVAX facility, we support the vaccine roll out as KMPDU, and will work with the Ministry of Health moving forward, as there has been reluctance in vaccine uptake.”

Kenya has thus far vaccinated more than 40,359 frontline workers countrywide.

The country has recorded 122,040 Coronavirus cases, 90,376 recoveries and 2,023 deaths.

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