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MMUST MULTIDISCIPLINARY TEAM’S RESEARCH ASCERTAINS EFFECTIVENESS OF HOME-BASED CARE FOR COVID-19 PATIENTS IN WESTERN REGION

A team of researchers from Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology (MMUST), led by the Principal Investigator (P.I), Prof. Francis Orata, has established that the Home-Based Care Model for patients with COVID-19 in the Western Region is effective, citing a higher recovery rate compared to Ministry of Health (MoH) Isolation Centres. This was one of the key findings presented at a Research Dissemination and Stakeholders’ workshop held on 21st September, 2021 at Bishop Stam Pastoral Centre, Kakamega.

The University Research Funded project titled, “Towards COVID-19 containment: Surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 and Home-Based Care in Western Region of Kenya,” covered Bungoma, Busia, Vihiga and Kakamega Counties. The main aim of the research was to ascertain the effectiveness of Health Based Care in Western Region and provide an alternative COVID-19 Surveillance System at the Population level. The Multi-disciplinary research team which comprised of Prof. William Shivoga, Dr. Baraza Lilechi, Dr. Edward Maisibai, Dr. Eunice Majanga, Dr. Janet Kassilly and Ms. Ruth Migarusha, is currently working on a COVID-19 Geo App. The Multi-Facetted Surveillance tool is being developed using emerging datasets from the four (4) counties covered in the research in order to strengthen Case Surveillance and Management by Health Professionals across these four (4) counties in the Western Region.

The workshop was officially opened by the Associate Dean, School of Natural Sciences (SONAS),Prof. Elizabeth Omukunda who emphasized on the vitality of stakeholders in research, especially at the implementation stage. She said that MMUST is fulfilling its mandate to meet the needs of the community through research and commended MMUST researchers for taking up this mantle.

“The results from this research will help in controlling COVID-19 Transmission,” she said.


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Principal Investigator, Prof. Francis Orata presenting the research findings during the workshop


Speaking during the workshop, Prof. Francis Orata, reported that COVID-19 Patients in Home Based Care registered high recovery rates and noted that more males tested positive for COVID-19 compared to females. Nonetheless, the intensive research acknowledged challenges of the Home-Based Care Model such as lack of experience by HBC Nurses, Financial Constraints leading to inadequate facilitation of healthcare workers, inadequate and ineffective human resource as well as lack of testing for HBC Patients.

While presenting the findings, Prof. Orata noted the lack of proper protocol, procedures and follow-ups on Home-Based Care and the worrying flouting of COVID-19 protocols by members of the public. In addition, the report confirmed that the counties were only 60% prepared to curb any another pandemic like COVID-19.

Professor of Aquatic Ecology at Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology, Prof. William Shivoga, acknowledged the cooperation of health departments in the Western Region for availing informmmustuni2ation required by the researchers. Prof. Shivoga commended County Hospitals for providing healthcare and saving lives despite challenges such as inadequate resources.

Senior Lecturer in the School of Arts and Social Sciences (SASS), Prof. Janet Kassilly appreciated the stakeholders for their input on the findings, promising that the team will come up with a comprehensive report that will help the community.

The workshop brought together stakeholders from selected counties. This included Mr. Paul Wekunda (Overseer activities - Vihiga County), Ms. Judith Emase- HIRO (Busia County), Mr. Moses Sirigwa (Busia county), Mr. Shiraku Evans-PHO Busia County Referral Hospital and Dr. Felicia Sande (Medical Officer)-Mumias.

2021 09 24 10 29 08 MMUST MULTIDISCIPLINARY TEAMS RESEARCH ASCERTAINS EFFECTIVENESS OF HOME BASED C

by Sandra Awuor Dorcas