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Don't cancel your surgeries, Kenyans told as 515 new coronavirus cases reported

Health & Science - By Jael Mboga | August 15th 2020 at 01:11:09 GMT +0300

Kenya has today recorded 515 new coronavirus cases, pushing the national tally to 29,849.
The new cases were drawn from some 6,353 people whose samples were tested in the last 24hrs.
From the new cases, 496 were Kenyans while 19 were foreigners. In terms of gender, 316 were male and 199 were female.
The youngest case is an 8-month-old infant while the oldest is 92.
Nairobi led with 251 new cases with Kitui reporting 41, Kiambu 33, Kericho 23, Kisii 19, Bomet 19, Nakuru 18, Homa Bay 16, Laikipia 12 and Murang’a 11 among others.
Speaking at Afya House on Saturday, Health CAS Dr Mercy Mwangangi (pictured) reiterated that residents are still allowed to seek professional help in hospitals.
She said surgical services, especially, are still available, regardless of the Covid-19 period. Dr Mwangangi admitted that the pandemic has disrupted essential surgical services but guidelines have been issued to ensure patients are attended to safely.
Elective surgeries will require the patients to take pre-operative Covid-19 tests, but according to Dr Mwangangi, emergency surgeries like those in complicated deliveries or accidents will be performed under infection control prevention measures.
A review by the Health ministry on the NHIF data on surgical procedures showed an "adverse effect" of Covid-19 on surgical procedures. Five months ago, NHIF would run about 44,528 surgeries and ensure providers are compensated. However, with the onset of coronavirus, the number has reduced to 32,717.
Dr Mwangangi cited the Kenyatta National Hospital, which recorded 9,598 surgeries between March and July last year. In the same period this year, KNH recorded 6,180 surgeries. The trend is the same in other referral hospitals.
Some 672 coronavirus patients recovered, pushing the national recovery tally to 15,970 as the fatality number hit 472.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health plans to roll out an online home-based care programme to guide caregivers in the fight against Covid-19.

This was as health officials commended the positive impact of home-based care in the fight against the pandemic.

In a previous Covid-19 briefing, Health Chief Administrative Secretary Dr Mercy Mwangangi announced that the ministry was planning to train caregivers on how best to safely take care of patients and themselves.

Although Africa reported its millionth official Covid-19 case last week, it seems to have weathered the pandemic relatively well so far, with fewer than one confirmed case for every thousand people and just 23,000 deaths so far.

Yet several antibody surveys suggest far more Africans have been infected with the coronavirus — a discrepancy that is puzzling scientists around the continent. “We do not have an answer,” says immunologist Sophie Uyoga at the Kenya Medical Research Institute-Wellcome Trust Research Programme.

Covid 19 Time Series


After testing more than 3,000 blood donors, Uyoga and colleagues estimated in a preprint last month that one in 20 Kenyans aged 15 to 64 — or 1.6 million people — has antibodies to Sars-CoV-2, an indication of past infection.

That would put Kenya on a par with Spain in mid-May when that country was descending from its coronavirus peak and had 27,000 official Covid-19 deaths. Kenya’s official toll stood at 100 when the study ended. And Kenya’s hospitals are not reporting huge numbers of people with Covid-19 symptoms.

Three top managers at the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (Kemsa) were yesterday suspended following ongoing probe into claims of impropriety in acquisition of Covid-19 pandemic equipment.

Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission is investigating the suspended officials - Chief Executive Officer Jonah Manjari, Procurement Director Charles Juma and his Commercial counterpart Eliud Muriithi - in relation to among others, controversial Sh7.7 billion tender for the emergency procurement of Covid-19 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that was to be delivered by July 22, 2020.

The agency has dominated the headlines lately following claims of questionable tenders awarded to powerful individuals. EACC is also investigating construction of a warehouse by Kemsa at Sh5 billion.


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