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Mortalities from non-communicable diseases likely to increase

The Baringo governor, Stanley Kiptis (in a maroon necktie) receiving some of the 4, 000 facemasks donated by the National Council of Churches of Kenya North Rift region during the function held outside his office in Kabarnet town on Wednesday, April 29, 2020. Photo by KNA.

The number of people dying as a result of non-communicable diseases like diabetes is likely to increase as hospitals record low turnout due to COVID-19, the Baringo County Women Representative, Gladwell Cheruiyot has said.

Cheruiyot, who is a member of the health committee in the National Assembly, said many people with terminal sicknesses across the country were reportedly preferring to stay at their homes as they feared contracting coronavirus.

The women representative said she learned of the trend through her counterparts from several counties who argued that public hospitals in their respective counties were recording low turnout after the second week when the first case of the deadly viral disease was confirmed in Kenya.

“Currently, there is a growing trend among members of the public who perceive that Covid-19 is in hospitals. You must know that hypertension or high blood pressure, diabetes, pneumonia, and malaria will still kill you. So we should not desist from visiting hospitals for treatment,” she affirmed.

She pleaded with people not to fear to get their temperature tested or screening for Covid-19 noting that getting coronavirus is not a death sentence as most people who contract the viral disease have recovered after treatment.

Cheruiyot  who was handing over non-food items that included 1, 500 facemasks to be used in the fight against Covid-19 in Baringo Central sub-county also urged members of the public to always put on facemasks correctly and not to just as a way to avoid arrest by police.

“There are some people who put on masks just to impress the police. Masks are meant to protect you. You know when the former Transport Minister John Michuki introduced the use of safety belts in the matatu sector as a war of reducing the loss of lives during road accidents, many Kenyans took it for granted the way they are now downplaying the use of facemasks. This habit must stop and we should adhere to the government health advisories,” she said.

Baringo governor who spoke in a separate function echoed the remarks of the women rep saying he was equally concerned about the fact that the majority of the sick people especially in his county rarely visited hospitals nowadays with a false notion that COVID-19 is easily contracted in hospitals.

Kiptis noted that there was no reason for people to shy away from visiting hospitals yet all the health facilities across the county were operational and open for anyone who required medical services on any ailment.

The governor announced that he would extend the contracts of paid interns working in the health facilities for an unspecified time to help during this critical period of Covid-19 when health services were much needed.

By  Vincent Miningwo/Christopher Kiprop

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