[NJOKI KIHIU in Nairobi and JOSPHAT MWANGI in Nyeri contributed to this article]
NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 14- The Ministry of Health has urged people living with Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) such as cancer, diabetes and blood pressure to strictly follow coronavirus containment measures and their medical prescriptions.
Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said people with these diseases are at a higher risk of contracting coronavirus and can easily die due to their low immunity.
“Non Communicable diseases contribute to 1 in every 3 deaths and account for half of all hospital admissions in our country,” he said, “Deaths due to NCDs are projected to rise to 55 percent by the year 2030.”
The fatalities from COVID-19 in Kenya topped 100 Sunday, with 3.594 cases across the country.
“As I have said several times, people living with NCDs are more at risk of becoming severely ill with coronavirus disease than that without,” Kagwe said Sunday during a tour of Othaya in Nyeri County, where he was accompanied by his ICT counterpart Joe Mucheru and other top national and county government officials.
Kagwe said the government is concerned by the high rate of Non-Communicable Diseases in the country which can potentially strain the health system or render families poor due to the high cost of treatment.
He pointed out that the Ministry has already rolled out an awareness campaign to provide guidelines on how Kenyans with such diseases can protect themselves during coronavirus period.
“I am concerned that close to 24 percent of our population is living with high blood pressure while 5 percent have high blood glucose. It is equally unacceptable that over 47,000 new cases of cancer are diagnosed and 32,000 die of cancer each year,” Kagwe said.
He also urged everyone to strictly observe COVID-19 regulations to remain safe.
“We must take this issue very seriously and always assume that the person next to you is positive,” he said, “you must protect yourself at all times.”
By June 24, the virus had spread to 38 counties.