Jantine Jacobi the UNAIDS Country Director for Kenya said that the East African nation requires a healthy workforce in order to end HIV as a public health threat by the year 2030.
“We are working with other partners to try to solve the issue of stigma and discrimination of health workers who are infected with HIV so that they can access the care they require,” Jacobi said during a forum to discuss issues relating to health for doctors and occupational safety.
She added that Kenya needs a health safety program for doctors because the country is losing doctors due to work-related stress including HIV.
Jacobi stressed on the fact that the workplace should be a safe environment where employees can perform their task without the fear of injury or death.
“Kenya should implement and develop workplace safety and health programs in order to improve the welfare of doctors,” she added.
Fredrick Oluga, Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentist Union Secretary-General, said that occupational safety and health of medical practitioners is an important component of a functioning healthcare system.
“However, this understanding seems not to be shared across the system as doctors have been neglected and their well being either forgotten or not prioritized leading to deterioration of health and safety of doctors with fatalities being reported in some cases,” Oluga said.
He added that there is lack of confidential and proper reporting channels with regards to injuries sustained at the workplace while the stigma associated with seeking medical care amongst doctors continues to impede the access to medical care for doctors.