COVID-19: “Avert More Healthcare Workers’ Pandemic Deaths,” KESPSA Urges Govt

The private sector has been alarmed by the deaths of health workers and urged the government to urgently equip frontline workers with more Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs).

The Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) Chief executive Carole Karuga urged for an urgency and decisiveness to be adopted towards the release and distribution of PPEs and other equipment by the Ministry of Health directly or through its agencies.

She said it is imperative that the Government organize the delivery of PPE to medical personnel consistently and efficiently.

“The first lesson is the absolutely critical need to secure and support our medical fraternity, who have been and remain at the forefront of our countrywide efforts to stem the tide of COVID-19 and put their own lives in harm’s way. One of the persistent complaints from medical personnel has been about the lack of PPE,” said Karuga.

The Ceo said that next is the urgent need to raise the standards of the country’s public and private health facilities.

“Combating Covid requires well-staffed and well-equipped hospitals to save lives. Sadly, we see glaring gaps in hospitals’ readiness across the Republic. With the rare exceptions of testing kits and vaccines, all the required products are in the country, but the supply chain is restricted by lack of funding or release of existing funding. We call for an urgent stocktaking of all level 3, 4 and 5 hospitals and for the government to prioritize funding for County health facilities over any other expense, and ensure payments to genuine suppliers, many of whom are owed millions for months,” she said.

Karuga asked Kenya’s elected leaders not to fear being treated in their own County hospitals.

“If they play their oversight role better and being more accountable in making sure hospitals are well-equipped and staffed by qualified medical workers,” said the Ceo.

She said the reaction of some leaders in calling for special treatment to be treated for COVID-19 completely misses the point.

“COVID-19 knows neither rank nor privilege and has shown us that we must raise the standards of healthcare provision for all Kenyans, which in turn calls for prudent and transparent use of resources,” she said.

Karuga said the Private Sector is not blameless in propagating corruption in government procurement.

“KEPSA will continue being on the lookout for corrupt practices by its members, and we are willing to be held to account. KEPSA fully supports Government action in cracking down on corruption,” she said.