Health News

Kajiado referral records low patient turnout as Covid-19 cases rise

According to the facility’s medical superintendent, 50 per cent of outpatients have kept of for fear of contracting coronavirus

By Albert Lemomo

Fear of contracting the deadly coronavirus, and restriction of movement have been cited as the main reasons why a number of patients accessing Kajiado County Referral Hospital has reduced significantly.

According to the Referral Hospital Medical Superintendent Dr Kennedy Opiyo, the number of patients has dropped drastically since the first case of coronavirus was reported in the country.

He noted that the outpatient has experienced 50 per cent reduction of patients on a daily basis for the past three months amid fears of escalating spread of Covid-19.

“With the daily increase of Covid-19 positive cases in the County, we are continuing to see less numbers of the patients as well as the restriction of movement with only people undertaking essential services allowed to travel hence contributing to the reduction of patients from Isinya and neighboring environs,” the Medical Superintendent observed.

However, the hospital management has begun call-in services for patients who do not require direct visit to the facility in a bid to reduce the spread of Coronavirus and congestion.

“As we continue to tackle and manage the spread of Covid-19, we have started to re-assign some of the medical personnel to conduct call-in services for patients who do not require physical visit to the facility,” said Dr Opiyo.

He said home based contacts include; family planning as well as those patients that require mental health support who are advised accordingly by both medical officers and community health volunteers (CHVs) with close monitoring in case they require referral to the main facility.

Some of the residents interviewed by our reporter indicated that they fear visiting any health facility since they feel Coronavirus symptoms will eventually test Covid-19 positive.

“It is difficult for me to visit any hospital at this time because if I go to a health facility now I will be a suspect or tested for Covid-19 and then put on quarantine for 14 days with other patients who have contracted the disease,” Lekishon told our reporter.

The index case for Covid-19 in Kenya was from Kajiado County in the month of March and the County has since recorded over 200 positive cases with 141 successful recoveries from the treatment centres and four deaths.

The adoption of call-in services comes barely a week after patients who require home based support performed by Community Health Volunteers decried minimal interaction between them and the CHVs due to the imposed social distancing rules and the unprecedented economic time

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