Imagine being picked as a front line worker, with no knowledge in medicine, to join the fight against a new disease that is devastating the world.
This is the story of 54-year-old driver, Mr Joseph Mbuthia, who has been transporting Covid-19 samples for tests at influenza laboratories in Nairobi from Nakuru.
At first, Mbuthia, who hails from Engashura village in Bahati Sub-county, was reluctant to pick up the role over safety concerns for himself and his family.
However, his wife and children encouraged him to take up the role he now performs with passion. His efforts have not been in vain. Mbuthia is among front-line workers, including four medics who were applauded by Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe on Thursday.
“All healthcare workers have been on the forefront, and I appreciate their work. But for this driver, he has constantly ferried samples to laboratories in Nairobi, on a daily basis. He is available after normal working hours,” Kagwe said.
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Mbuthia said the recognition was God’s making.
Speaking to Saturday Standard, Mbuthia, who is attached to Rift Valley Provincial General Hospital, said service to humanity drove his passion for the job.
At times, he is called in the wee hours to collect samples from various areas. “I know Covid-19 is a deadly disease, and when called upon, I do not hesitate because I think delay may result into death of a patient, or cause more complications,” he said.
Initially he used to make three trips to Nairobi to deliver samples, but he currently transports the same as per service need.
Samples are packed in a cooler box during transportation.
The Naivasha Hospital in-charge Dr Angeline Ithondeka said 316 healthcare workers had been trained on how to handle Covid-19 patients.
Ithondeka is the brainchild of the six-pointer plan that is helping manage Covid-19 positive patients at the hospital.
Elements of the plan entail picking a team leader from all departments at the hospital, including nurses, doctors, clinical officers, laboratory technicians and non-subordinate staff.
“Everyone at the hospital seemed confused, and did not know what to do, yet the number of patients was rising. I, therefore, identified hospital champions in charge of sensitising other staff about the disease,” she said.
Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui applauded medics for working tirelessly to treat patients.