Weekly Health News Round-Up

February 24, 2020

17 Feb – 23 Feb 2020 


Saturday, 22 & Sunday, 23 Feb, 2020 

Role of journalists in mental health education  (Daily Nation, ​KE, Lukoye Atwoli)

For the past few years, the media has played an important role in reporting on mental health and ensuring that it is close to the top of our country’s health agenda.

KNH ejects 10 cancer patients over blood (Daily Nation, ​KE, Angela Oketch)

Ten cancer patients awaiting life-saving chemotherapy were discharged from Kenyatta National Hospital due to lack of blood, as shortage of the commodity bites.

Sustain fight against HIV (Daily Nation, ​KE, Editorial)

The Ministry of Health has an opportunity to concentrate on improving its policies in the fight against HIV. Though the survey indicates that the number of new infections has declined, quite worrying is the finding that the prevalence rate in some key areas is rising.

We sold our land to buy oxygen for sick mother (The Standard, ​KE, Stephen Rottich)

Meet Rose Chemwetich, 55, who has been dependent on oxygen cylinders since 2017, after she developed an agonising disease that made it difficult for her to breathe. Her lungs had failed.

Nairobi leads in new birth rates (The Standard, ​KE, Beldeen Waliaula)

Nairobi was leading with the number of newborns by August last year. Children below one year in Nairobi were 113,788 while those below four years are also high in number, at 524,987.

Salary delays: Patients suffer after medics down tools, again (The Standard, ​KE, Mactilda Mbenywe)

Kisumu County’s troubled health sector has suffered yet another setback after health workers boycotted work for the second day over non-payment of salaries. This is the fourth time in a span of six months that the workers have downed tools as patients continue to suffer.

Coronavirus spreads in China prisons, Korean church as fears weigh on global markets  (The Standard, ​KE, Reuters )

The coronavirus (Covid-19) has infected hundreds of people in Chinese prisons, authorities said, as cases climbed outside the epicentre in Hubei province, including 100 more in South Korea and a worsening outbreak in Italy where officials announced the country’s first death.


Friday, 21 Feb 2020

Vet on call: Don’t trust Dr Google, he is not the best bet  (The Daily Nation, ​KE, Irungu Houghton)

My conclusion is that the internet is a valuable resource for livestock farmers especially on animal management but one must seek information from trusted sources like universities, verified experts, research and government institutions.

Ending violent policing will require relentless vigilance  (The Standard, ​KE, Irungu Houghton)

24-year-old Korogocho resident and boda boda rider rode his motorcycle into Mama Lucy Kibaki Hospital to save a child who had almost drowned.


Thursday, 20 Feb 2020

Scientists announce ‘breakthrough’ atomic map of coronavirus  (Daily Nation – AFP)

US scientists announced Wednesday they had created the first 3D atomic scale map of the part of the novel coronavirus that attaches to and infects human cells, a critical step toward developing vaccine and treatments.

Nakuru Coronavirus scare may affect tourism: Governor Kinyanjui  (Daily Nation, KE, Francis Mureithi)

Nakuru’s tourism industry and trade could be affected by ‘false’ information about coronavirus, Governor Lee Kinyanjui has warned.

TECH BREAK: How a Canadian start-up used AI to track China virus (Daily Nation, KE, – AFP)

On the shores of Lake Ontario, a Canadian start-up raised one of the earliest alarms about the risk posed by the mystery virus that emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan. How did it do it? Artificial intelligence.

What next for ageing HIV positive population? (Daily Nation, KE, Victor Oluoch)

he Ministry of Health will have an opportunity to improve on its policies in the fight against HIV in the face of a new report indicating that while the number of new infections has plummeted, the prevalence rate in key cohorts is rising.

Report: Why anti-HIV therapy has had low impact on children (Standard Digital News, KE, Graham Kajilwa)

Unfriendly regimens for Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) have been mentioned as one of the reasons viral suppression among children has been lower than in the general population.

Homabay has highest HIV prevalence of 19.6 per cent (Standard Digital News, KE, Graham Kajilwa)

Homa Bay County is leading the country’s 47 counties in HIV infections. The county’s prevalence rate is 19.6 per cent, which is four times the national average of 4.9 per cent.

Residents grapple with diseases in dusty Katani (Daily Nation, KE, Lillian Mutavi)

A policy brief report on Athi River town of Machakos said high exposure to inhalable dust had increased respiratory health problems among residents.

Just how did NHIF spend Sh6bn in reserve funds? (Daily Nation, KE, Verah Okeyo & Nasibo Kabale)

National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) officials announced earlier this week that they will adopt austerity measures to keep the insurer afloat, but insiders are wondering what happened to about Sh6 billion it held in reserve for turbulent times, such as these.

Bomet battles malaria outbreak (Daily Nation, KE, Vitalis Kimutai)

A malaria outbreak has left over 130 people seeking treatment in Bomet County in the last four days, according to local health officials.


Wednesday, 19 Feb 2020

How to make cash burden lighter for cancer patients  (Daily Nation, KE, Eileen Bonareri)

Cancer incidence is expected to rise by 70 per cent in the next two decades.

Shortage of crucial cancer drug blamed on delay to order (Daily Nation, KE, Angela Oketch)

It is cheap, effective and easy to administer, so why are Kenyans in pain for a year without access to morphine?

Families want loved ones in Wuhan evacuated (Daily Nation, KE, Nasibo Kabale)

When Lillian Morara’s daughter asked if her father would come back from Wuhan alive, she was caught off guard and could not answer the question.

Pneumonia is preventable, it shouldn’t kill (Daily Nation, KE, Wang Le)

The Global Forum on Childhood Pneumonia was hosted last week in Barcelona, Spain, more than a decade since the first summit.

WHO declares ‘progress’ in fight against coronavirus (Daily Nation, KE, AFP)

The World Health Organization on Wednesday hailed “tremendous progress” in the fight against the deadly new coronavirus since it emerged in China in December.

 PS seeks probe of hospital, 100 clinics (Standard Digital, KE, – Moses Nyamori)


Tuesday, 18 Feb 2020

We need not just high but healthy population (Daily Nation, KE, Evelyn Samba)

A population with more economically productive people than it has dependants is what we should aim for.

Busting the meat myth… and Maasai paradox (Daily Nation, KE, Joshua Arimi)

Several reasons explain why meat consumption has been increasing throughout civilisation. They include its palatable, high satiety value and richness in proteins, vitamins and minerals.

Kemsa laxity, red tape worsen patients’ pain (Daily Nation, KE, Caroline Njung’e  & Angela Oketch)

A weak healthcare system and systemic bureaucracy in government institutions has led to the suffering of thousands of terminally-ill patients for close to a year now due to shortage of oral morphine.

Every child under ‘immediate threat’ from climate, poor diet: UN (Standard Digital, KE, – AFP)

The world is failing to protect children from the health dangers posed by climate change and poor diet, a landmark UN report said Wednesday, warning that every child is under “immediate threat”.

Quarantined passengers disembark ship in Japan; new China coronavirus cases fall (Standard Digital, KE, – Reuters)

Hundreds of people began disembarking a quarantined cruise ship off Japan on Wednesday as the death toll from the new coronavirus in mainland China passed 2,000 and the number of new cases in the country fell for a second straight day.

China virus death toll surges past 2,000: govt (Daily Nation, KE, – AFP)

The death toll from China’s new coronavirus epidemic jumped past 2,000 on Wednesday after 136 more people died, with the number of new cases falling for a second straight day, according to the National Health Commission.

How coronavirus could spawn another recession (Standard Digital, KE, – XN Iraki)

China, where the virus originated, is the world’s second-biggest economy and one of the engines of growth. The economic rise of China is unprecedented and still a hot subject among economists, policy analysts and even idlers. The coronavirus has led to closing down of Chinese cities and their industries.

Over 1,500 test positive for malaria in Elgeyo Marakwet (Standard Digital, KE, – Fred Kibor & Stephen Rutto )

Health workers in Elgeyo Marakwet County yesterday painted a grim picture of rising malaria cases. The disease, which was first reported in September 2019, has reportedly killed at least 10 people, with cases soaring in Tambach, Emsoo, Arror and Endo wards in the semi-arid Kerio Valley region.

In Meru, children can now smile thanks to phone app (Daily Nation, KE, – David Muchui )

A mobile app is being used for the first time in Meru to identify patients with neglected surgical diseases (NSDs). The aim is to reach more than 7,000 children with cleft lip and palate in the country.

NHIF in bid to tame surging expenditure (Daily Nation, KE, Nasibo Kabale)

The National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) has announced plans to cut down on administrative cost in a bid to save the agency from collapsing.

China cleans, locks away banknotes to stop virus spread (Standard Digital, KE, AFP)

China is disinfecting and isolating used banknotes as part of efforts to stop the spread of the new coronavirus that has killed more than 1,500 people, officials said Saturday.


Monday, 17 Feb 2020

Officials: 5 reasons Kenya’s blood banks are running dry (Standard Digital, KE, –Peter Mwai And Agencies)

Kenya is facing a shortage of blood supplies in its hospitals, with relatives and friends of patients increasingly having to put out calls for people to donate.

County collects vital data as it seeks to develop cancer registry (Standard Digital, KE,–Erastus Mulwa)

Machakos County is collecting data on cancer from five public hospitals to develop a cancer registry.

Patients who smoke at risk of problems during surgery (Daily Nation, KE, Angela Oketch)

Patients who smoke tobacco are likely to experience more complications with anaesthesia during operation compared to non-smokers, says a report by World Health Organisation.

Earning public trust key among WHO’s to-do items for 2020 (Daily Nation, KE, Nasibo Kabale)

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has released a list of urgent, global health challenges as we usher in a new decade.

WHO adds new drugs to boost reproductive health (Daily Nation, KE, Verah Okeyo)

The World Health Organisation has added two products to its list of essential medicine expected to reduce maternal mortality globally.

Relax rules on animal disposal, say experts (Daily Nation, KE, Gilbert Nakweya)

Scientists now want regulations governing the disposal of large animal carcasses not to be restrictive especially when applied to nature conservation areas.

Poor mental health puts school going children at risk of exclusion: Study (Daily Nation, KE, Gilbert Nakweya)

Poor mental health could lead to exclusion of school-going children and devastate the situation unless they receive support from primary school level onwards, a study finds.

New task force takes new approach in efforts to solve mental health crisis (Daily Nation, KE, Verah Okeyo)

The President shall have a “clear and comprehensive report” on what the country needs to do to tame the runaway statistics on ill mental health before the swearing-in of the new Health Cabinet Secretary, a mental health task force has told HealthyNation.

New coronavirus is ‘preventable and treatable’: China health official (Standard Digital, KE,AFP)

The novel coronavirus that has killed more than 1,700 people in China is “preventable and treatable”, an official from the country’s National Health Commission said on Monday.

No value for Kenyans in costly medical services scheme (Daily Nation, KE, Angela Oketch)

There seems to be no end in sight to the controversy that has been the trademark of the Managed Equipment Service (Mes) programme, with a study by the Institute of Economic Affairs revealing that poor regulation of the project has increased financial and corruption risks.