138 Uasin Gishu District Hospital Health Staff take Covid-19 test

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The  county government of Uasin Gishu has undertaken a mass Covid-19 testing of its 138 health workers at the Uasin Gishu district hospital after four nurses at the health facility tested positive of the disease two days ago.

Following concerns by a section of staff at the district hospital, all the four nurses who work in the maternity ward and pharmacy have since been taken to quarantine as contact tracing exercise begun in earnest to avoid spread of the disease.

Panic and anxiety gripped the health facility yesterday when word leaked that four nurses turned Covid-19 positive and were yet to be quarantined as expected.

A spot check by KNA on Tuesday showed that services in all sections of the facility, including the pharmacy that was closed yesterday were back to normal with long queues of patients being attended to.

The  Clinical Officers Association Chairman Uasin Gishu chapter, Isaac Tallam lauded the county government’s move to roll out mass testing for Covid-19 among the staff and take necessary precautionary measures to clear doubts among staff as well as patients seeking services at the facility.

Tallam asked the county government to also conduct testing of staff in all public health facilities in the county saying they also interact with staff at the district hospital in the course of their duties.

“The decision by the county to undertake mass testing will inspire confidence among the people seeking heath care services in the public facilities unlike in the past when most of them shunned the hospitals fearing they could contract the Corona virus if they visited the hospitals.

The situation worsened yesterday when word went round that four staff members had tested Covid-19 positive, he said.

He said the situation had been made worse after it emerged that four members of the staff at the district hospital had tested positive for Covid-19, said Tallam.

“We are appealing to the county through the department of health to expedite the exercise of testing all staff in all the 180 public health facilities,” he added.

Key services were paralyzed at the district hospital yesterday after paramedics and other staff abandoned their work station after learning that four of their colleagues had tested positive for the pandemic.

Tallam yesterday took issue with the county government for not acting fast to quarantine the affected staff, however the County Executive Health, Eveline Rotich dismissed the claims, saying due diligence has been taken in handling health personnel who tested positive and asked those claiming that some nurses have not been quarantined despite turning positive to provide identification details instead of making allegations.

“It will help if they can provide the names of those they claimed are Covid-19 positive and have not been quarantined, as soon as they give the names necessary action will be taken”, said the CEC on phone.

By Kiptanui Cherono

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