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Kenya loses first doctor to Covid-19

The coronavirus pandemic in Kenya today has claimed the life of a doctor who succumbed to the virus within 48 hours of being admitted at a private hospital in Nairobi. The 39-year-old Dr Adisa Lugaliki (pictured) was a mother of 13-year-old twins, who is suspected to have had an underlying medical condition that exposed her to suffering the severe effects of the coronavirus that ultimately cost her life. Her last words to her colleagues was a message of disbelief that she was getting intubated to allow mechanical ventilation that would enable her breathe better on oxygen. "The doctors there are still traumatised from the loss of one of their own, under their care as they tried to save her life,” said a source from the hospital where she was being attended to. Her colleagues have eulogized her as a dedicated and hardworking obstetrician and gynaecologist in Nairobi who was committed to attending to expectant mothers. Dr Lugaliki had trained at The University of Nairobi both as an undergraduate and for her postgraduate as an obstetrician gynaecologist. In one of her social media pages, she speaks about her work and dedication as an obstetrician and gynaecologist. “My aim is to promote optimal wellness for women and I share a sense of duty and enthusiasm towards our goal to keep a professional atmosphere.” This is Kenya’s first death of a healthcare worker during their regular line of duty, shortly after the President eased restrictions of movement in and out of Nairobi, Mombasa and Mandera counties. Dr. Simon Kigondu, the National Secretary of the Kenya Medical Association, has asked the public to allow the family to mourn their daughter and mother in private even as they as a fraternity try to come to terms with the tragic loss of a young and promising doctor.

"Covid-19 is an occupational illness for doctors,” he says, adding “we need to consider an increase in the number of human resources for health to allow doctors to also work in shifts and minimize exposure to the virus.” Kigondu acknowledged that due to the nationwide shortage of doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers this might be a major challenge to achieve. The death might come as a wake up call on the vulnerability of healthcare workers in the line of duty, and a need to focus on their wellbeing at a time when community transmission of the virus is rife.

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