KENYA: Covid-19: Patient in ICU as more men found to be at risk than women

April 2020 TheStandard; A patient who tested positive for coronavirus is under ventilation support, Ministry of Health Director-General Dr Patrick Amoth has revealed.During today’s routine briefing on the status of Covid-19 in the country, Dr Amoth said the patient was doing well and should be out of the ventilator in two days.

The Government had previously announced that two other people were ventilation support but have reportedly been brought out of the ICU. “Those who are admitted in various hospitals from Nairobi all the way to Mombasa Avenue and Aga Khan are all doing well, so the majority of our cases are still very mild,” Dr Amoth said.

He also noted that the youngest coronavirus infection case in the country so far is of a two-year-old while the oldest case is of a 74-year old.

Men more susceptible.

Global statistics show that the rate of Covid-19 infections and deaths is higher in males than in females. Kenya is not an exception as the Director-General also pointed out that the case is similar in the country.

According to Aljazeera, the discrepancy was first noted in China, where the death rates revealed that 2.8 per cent of men who caught the virus had died, compared with 1.7 per cent of women who contracted it.

These findings were replicated in Italy where the death rate is currently 7.2 per cent for men and 4.1 per cent for women.In South Korea, where extensive testing was carried out, despite showing that the proportion of women who tested positive for the virus was higher than that of men; about 54 per cent of the reported deaths were still among men.

Research done by Aljazeera shows that men are more likely to indulge in unhealthy habits, which are associated with developing chronic diseases.Among these lifestyle choices are alcohol and tobacco consumption. Data gathered in 2015 by the World Health Organization (WHO) shows that men drink about five times more alcohol than women.

There have also been studies to suggest that men may be worse at hand hygiene than women.A 2009 US study showed that only 31 per cent of men washed their hands after using a public toilet, for example, compared with 65 per cent of women.

Women were also more likely to use soap when washing their hands.Men are also less likely to pay a visit to their General Practitioner when they feel sick and also less likely to acknowledge illness or seek help when they are sick.

Studies by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical medicine suggest that the reason for this difference is due to a perceived “femininity” of health concerns, and those risk-taking behaviours are masculine trait.Kenyan situation

Currently, the total number of patients who have tested for Covid-19 in Kenya stands at 172, with seven recoveries and six deaths. The latest death is of a six-year-old male child who reportedly had other underlying health issues.

Dr Amoth confirmed that almost 54 per cent of the positive cases are from people in quarantine.“In certain facilities, cross-infection occurred as a result of not maintaining social distance… We will not waiver on protecting Kenyans to please a few people not complying,” he said.

The Ministry of Health also announced that health care workers who are at a high risk of contracting the disease will be given separate accommodation facilities away from their families to prevent further transmission of the disease.

“We have identified suitable accommodation for our health care workers so that healthcare workers who get into contact with these cases don’t go home but to a specific place, therefore, prevent close contamination with members of the family and public as they move home,” Dr Amoth said

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