Medic Punished for Exposing Covid-19 Positive Nurses Still at Work

  • A medical practitioner dressed in protective gear at Coronavirus isolation and treatment facility in Mbagathi District Hospital on Friday, March 6, 2020.
    A medical practitioner dressed in protective gear at the Coronavirus isolation and treatment facility in Mbagathi District Hospital on Friday, March 6, 2020.
    Simon Kiragu
    Kenyans.co.ke
  • A health worker was on Wednesday, August 5, suspended for exposing nurses who had tested positive for Covid-19 and were still treating patients at the Uasin Gishu district hospital.

    The clinical officer, Isaac Tallam who is also the County Clinical Officers Association Uasin Gishu chapter chairman disclosed that the county government had issued him with a suspension letter after he made public the information.

    Tallam raised the alarm on Monday, August 3, when he called for a press briefing alleging that four nurses were still working at the hospital even though they had tested positive for Covid-19.

    The medic stated that the actions of nurses attending to patients at the clinic caused panic and anxiety among other staff members at the facility.

    A signboard for Uasin Gishu district hospital.
    A signboard for Uasin Gishu district hospital.
    Daily Nation

    The officer claimed the county accused him of painting the administration in bad light adding that he did not commit any crime by relaying the information for the benefit of other staff and patients.

    “How can I be suspended when all I did was to raise issues affecting my members who are at risk of contracting the coronavirus for lack of personal protective equipment?” he exclaimed.

    Tallam faulted the county's department of health for not acting in time to isolate the nurses noting that it was putting their colleagues at risk of getting infected.

    “Failure by the department of health to move with speed to isolate our affected colleagues amounted to exposing the rest of us to the pandemic,” he stated.

    Following the presser, the affected nurses were quarantined at a government facility in Eldoret town and the County government carried out mass testing of all staff at the hospital. The county government also swiftly dispatched PPEs to staff at the hospital.

    Health CS Mutahi Kagwe warned rogue doctors who were not adhering to Covid-19 regulations revealing that a medic who had tested positive decided to continue with his work.

    "Health workers are the first line of defence.They must be disciplined," he urged.

    Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe speaking during a presser outside Kenyatta National Hospital, April 2020.
    Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe speaking during a presser outside Kenyatta National Hospital, April 2020.
    File

    Medics are at a higher risk of Covid-19 infection, with over 600 medics having tested positive for the virus including Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Union (KMPDU) acting secretary-general, Dr Chibanzi Mwachonda.

    In July, Dr Doreen Adisa Lugaliki was the first Kenyan doctor to succumb to Covid-19, which is believed she contracted at the workplace.

    A month later, Nurse Marian Awuor Adumbo, who had given birth to a boy while on oxygen support passed due to complications arising from the virus.

    As of Thursday, August 6, Kenya recorded 24,411 positive cases, with 399 fatalities and 10,444 recoveries.