We cannot continue to watch (as) the only hopes of Kenyan people go down through the loss … of life as we have witnessed in the last few days”, says His Exc. Mgr. Philip Arnold Subira Anyolo, Archbishop of Kisumu and Chairman of the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops, in a statement on behalf of the Conference he chaired, in which concern was expressed regarding the number of doctors and nurses who died of Covid-19.
In Kenya since March at least 25 doctors have died from the disease caused by the coronavirus. In mid-November, as the number of cases surged, four doctors died within 24 hours. So far, 2,200 doctors have been infected with the virus, according to the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Pharmacists and Dentists Union. The country’s total infections stand at more than 75,000, reported Fides News Agency.
Archbishop Anyolo said the Church is concerned that, despite budget availability and commitment by Government leaders, resources have not been provided consistently to support the health care system during the pandemic, leaving health workers exposed and vulnerable. “We ask the Government to move with haste to prioritize the available resources with the Government and provide the required facilitation of the health care system”, said Mgr. Anyolo, recalling that health care workers continued to work to save lives despite challenges. Doctors said they would go on strike in early December if they do not get better working conditions and personal protective equipment. The Bishops said they want the Government to enter into talks with the health care workers’ union, so workers’ concerns can be addressed.