Kenya: COVID-19 - Govt Spending Sh71,000 a Day Per Intensive Care Patient

Some of the facilities at the Mandera County Referral Hospital's Intensive Care Unit.

Nairobi — The health ministry is spending Sh71,000 a day per patient to manage COVID-19 cases under intensive care.

The estimates were revealed on Friday by Acting Public Health Director General Patrick Amoth who said twenty-nine patients are currently admitted in Intensive Care Units.

Amoth said out of the 29 ICU patients, 15 are in public hospitals while 14 are in private hospitals.

He said 13 of them are on ventilators while 16 are under supplemental oxygen.

Estimates given by Amoth also indicated asymptomatic cases admitted in public hospitals cost Sh21, 300 each daily, a trend he said could pose sustainability challenges in the long run.

"To manage a mild case it will cost Sh21,400, if it's a severe case and require supplemental oxygen the figure rises to Sh51,000 and if it is a critical case which may require ventilatory support, the figure goes up to Sh71,000 a day," he said.

"This evident that these figures are overwhelming and you can now see how managing a COVID-19 case is an expensive exercise," the DG added.

Amoth explained that the major contributor to the high cost of COVID-19 treatment is the Personal Protective Equipment most of which are single-use.

Kenya has a total of 4,886 active coronavirus cases under management with the ministry of health recently changing its admission protocols to allow home-based care in a bid to decongest health facilities managing COVID-19 patients.

Amoth however said management of COVID-19 patients under the home-based care program which was adopted by Ministry of Health last month, is nine times cheaper as compared to institutional care.

Kenya has so far recorded 154 coronavirus-related deaths, translating to 2.1 per cent case fatality rate against the global average of 4.8 per cent.

A total of 2,148 patients have recovered representing a 30 per cent recovery rate against a global average of 56 per cent.

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