Published On: Sat, Mar 28th, 2020

In the frontline of COVID 19 – Kenya diaspora healthcare workers make up the army of key workers

 The healthcare workforce is a major employer in the UK and other developed economies, In United Kingdom, the sector accounts for an estimated 6% of the total UK workforce in 2016 to 2018 according to the Annual Population Survey. It is common knowledge that a majority of Africans, Kenyans included are absorbed into the healthcare sector and as  the world attempts to find ways to fight COVID19, we must remember and appreciate these workers in the frontline of healthcare in developed economies.
They provide essential care for the vulnerable, often older people yet some of them may have little access to healthcare themselves. An estimated 10% of all Kenyans living in the Middle East, UK and the Americas (countries with the majority of Kenyan migrants ) work in key positions eg. Care homes, public health and other key positions that are critical in the fight against COVID 19.
Kenya London News spoke to some of these working in the front line in the UK , though determined to keep on providing healthcare in the midst of the pandemic, though being physically and mentally fatigued nothing was going to stop them from caring for patients.  ‘ I work in a respiratory ward, meaning I handle positive cases daily, I haven’t been tested yet and not sure when this will happen, meaning I am likely to contract and affect many others I am in contact with daily, despite the fatigue and exposure, I am giving it my very best.” A Kenyan clinical nurse told us.
Others and mostly undocumented in the UK work in care homes, their stories are hard to take in,  ” I work in a care home and deliver care to the elderly and most vulnerable, at least it is getting easier now, but for the last month, we worked daily with limited supplies of gloves, aprons, masks etc, we have not been tested and neither have the residents we look after who are in the risk category as described by the Government. We are without a doubt spreading the virus to them or catching from them and spreading it as we go along to our families and public members.”
This is the story everywhere Kenyans in Diaspora work, the same conditions but are up everyday to provide critical care to many.
Rallying calls to test the front line workers have finally achieved results as the Government announced this will be done.
Many Kenyans, retired Nurses and clinical workers have responded to the call by the National Health Service and returned to work  to support the systems.
The  UK has a total of 113,777 people have been tested, of which 99,234 were confirmed negative and 14,543 were confirmed positive with at least 759 dead. Amongst the high profile political leaders to test positive for Corona Virus include , PM Boris Johnson, Health Minister Matt Hancock and Prince Charles.



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In the frontline of COVID 19 – Kenya diaspora healthcare workers make up the army of key workers
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