Emergency Care Updates
The status and future of emergency care in the Republic of Kenya
Lee JA, Wanjiku G, Nduku N, Alusio AR, Kharel R, Simiyu JT, Wachira BW
Afr J Emerg Med. 2022;Mar;12(1):48-52. doi: 10.1016/j.afjem.2021.11.003
Currently only a few treatments available help mildly ill patients – people who have COVID-19 who do not require admission to hospital. Drugs like azithromycin, bamlanivimab, colchicine, hydroxychloroquine, ivermectin, lopinavir-ritonavir, and vitamin D do not help patients with COVID-19, and may cause harm.
Dexamethasone, a steroid that can be given in pill form, may benefit patients who are at home but need supplemental oxygen, but does not help patients who are mildly ill who do not need supplemental oxygen.
Budesonide, a steroid that can be inhaled (from a “puffer”), has no effect on whether patients with mild COVID-19 get sicker, are hospitalized, or die. But there is weak evidence that inhaled budesonide 800 mcg twice daily for 14 days may make patients feel better a few days earlier, so doctors may consider prescribing it.
The Ministry of Health, today, launched the Kenya Emergency Medical Care (EMC) Policy 2020-2030, to promote healthcare among citizens in need of emergency treatment. The Kenya Emergency Medical Care (EMC) Policy 2020-2030 is the first-ever policy in Kenya that seeks to establish a working Emergency Medical Care (EMC) System as a key component of the healthcare system in the country. The policy also speaks to the World Health Assembly resolution WHA 72.16 of 21 May 2019 which urged member states to create policies for sustainable funding, effective governance and universal access to safe, high-quality, needs-based emergency care for all as part of universal health coverage. In developing this policy, the Ministry of Health (MOH) aims to ensure access to the highest standards of emergency medical care in Kenya as envisioned in The Constitution of Kenya (2010) and the Health Act (2017) which guarantees every Kenyan the right to emergency medical treatment.
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