Doctors raise the alarm over stigmatisation of Covid-19 patients

By , K24 Digital
On Wed, 15 Apr, 2020 09:54 | < 1 min read
Dr Jacqueline Kitulu
Kenya Medical Association President Jacqueline Kitulu. PHOTO | FILE
Kenya Medical Association President Jacqueline Kitulu. PHOTO | FILE

Doctors have raised an alarm over increased stigmatisation of Covid-19 patients and have called for change on reporting on persons who have symptoms or have contracted the disease.

Under the aegis of Kenya Medical Association (KMA), the medics want communication on coronavirus to shift away from asking people to report ‘suspects’ as if they are criminals, to encouraging people to come forward in case they have had contact with someone with Covid-19, or have symptoms of disease so that they receive adequate testing and care.

“The message of social responsibility and solidarity must be emphasised and methods to trace contacts and patients must not be unnecessarily punitive,” association President Jacqueline Kitulu said in a statement Tuesday.

The association also wants clarity around quarantine and management of hotel costs during this period, given that there have been challenges around what happens to people who have been tested and their results take a few days to come back.

KMA recommends that government covers quarantine costs persons should they need to wait overnight or longer for results, in order to avoid sending them home and then spending resources tracking them down to communicate the results, Kitulu said.

However, the association has faulted the government for putting a lot of emphasis on acquiring ventilators rather than personal protection equipment.