Health Officials dehumanizing Covid-19 suspected patients- Counsellor

By Ndungu Gachane

Dr William Sifuna, the officer In charge of Counselling and Champlain unit in police headquarters with Physiologist Moses Kimenchu. Mr Kimenchu has urged health officials to change the methodology of picking Coronavirus suspected cases

An expert in post traumatic stress and mental health has blamed health officials with the stigma and rejection of the community to the coronavirus suspected patients.
Sergeant Moses Kimenchu a counsellor based at Mbagathi Hospital tasked with counselling the Covid-19 patients has said the manner in which the health officials treat the suspected cases after tracking them is not only dehumanizing but also dangerous as it can lead to rejection of the victims and their families to the community as well as leading to stress, anxiety and depression to the victims.
Mr Kimenchu at Mbagathi Hospital. He says most suspected victims may also suffer depression and trauma based on how they are picked.
Mr Kimenchu says the manner in which the suspects are picked from their homes may in the worst case scenario, lead to victims whether sick or not, develop suicidal thoughts.
The Counsellor has urged the Ministry of Health Officials to treat the victims with humanity and dignity since their positive mission of containing the disease may bring more harm than good to the peaceful co existence of members of the community.
“The manner in which the suspected patients are being treated while being transported to isolation or in quarantine centers is inhuman, it has led to family members being rejected by the community and is also the cause of depression and stress to the victims even when their tests become negative,’ he told KK Online News on phone.
According to the officer, the Ministry of Health should engage ‘ public relations’ while going for the victims and should always be accompanied by a Counsellor to sensitize the victims that death will be the next destination and to the community that they should not stigmatize the rest of the family members.
” Even as we go for the suspected cases, let our main aim be bringing the solution and not becoming part of the problem, what benefit would it be when we isolate a suspected case and introduce other stress related diseases in the family members due to rejection and stigma by the community, ” Mr Kimenchu posed.
Last week, a family in Kandara narrated how the community has rejected them after one of their members rested positive for Coronavirus.
They said they can’t buy basic needs in their local shops since locals believe they are sick. This according to Mr Kimenchu could introduce more diseases to the family urging the officials to come up with ways to stop the stigma.

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