Are we prepared for Ebola as a country? Are our health systems capable of responding to an Ebola outbreak?. I have been thinking about this questions lately and am afraid we are not. Recently WHO classified Kenya as a high risk country for the spread of the deadly Ebola virus, This is the most serious warning to date by the WHO (World health organization) that Ebola could spread to East Africa. Kenya receives more than 70 flights a week from West Africa and its understandable why we have been classified as a high risk area. What is shocking is that even after Kenya being warned by WHO we still are reluctant to ban West African flights, until recently when Kenya Airways was forced to discontinue travel to 4 West African countries( Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone) after a public outcry. So why do I get the idea that Kenya is not prepared?
UNDER PAID HEALTH WORKERS
KHN nurses are on strike,the strike began on Wednesday throwing operations in the country’s largest referral hospital into a crisis. The nurses went on strike after the govt failed to meet their demands, Comprehensive Bargain Agreement reached in July 2009. Many patients have died following the strike. Whether the govt gives in or not to this demands, its clear that our health systems are in a total mess. And if Ebola was to hit us today God forbid, we woun’t know what hit us.
LACK OF ENOUGH DOCTORS.
With Many health professionals leaving Kenya to find posts abroad, there is a severe shortage of medical workers across the country. According to WHO(World health organization) Kenya has just one doctor and only 12 nurses/midwives for every 10,000people. Yeah its that bad.
LACK OF ENOUGH MEDICINE AND FACILITIES.
How many times have you visited your local dispensary/clinic and was told there was no medicine? Because of this lack of free simple ailments medicines like malaria , poor families often go without treatment, How would we deal with Ebola? What about inadequate equipments and lack of basic infrastructure to handle sophisticated medical conditions. I can go on and on, but the point am trying to make is we are not prepared. And as they say prevention is better than cure, the Government should not take it lightly, all precautions should be taken to prevent an outbreak. Ebola is serious, we are still being challenged by terrorism which is Visible what about an invisible virus?
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