The government of Kenya has made a shocking admission that its Covid-19 data is inaccurate. This follows concerns that experts have been raising over the irregular and contradicting numbers that the government has been giving in its daily briefings.
According to Health Principal Secretary Susan Mochache, the Ministry of Health is only able to confirm deaths that occur within hospitals and post-mortem exams of a few that happen within the community. This leaves the number of deaths related to Covid outside hospitals unaccounted for.
“People are dying in numbers but we cannot give evidence that the community death occurs as a result of Covid-19 complications when issues of pathology are absent at counties,” PS Mochache said. She added the ministry currently has only four officers who are conducting examinations to determine cause of death as Covid at the Ministry of Health.
“I agree with your observations on the recording of deaths since we are not able to capture all community deaths,” she said while confirming that Kenya was in the middle of the fourth wave of Covid. “There is absolutely no doubt that we are in the fourth wave. Counties have not invested in autopsy and you cannot ascertain deaths that occur within communities.”
Ms. Mochache said that the government had also noted that increased incidents of Covid infections and deaths were being recorded in the villages. She said that this had become a source of concern for the government. Previously, economic analyst Ephraim Njega had raised concern that the number of patients admitted in Intensive Care Units and deaths was changing daily at very inconsistent rates.
“These corona deaths the MoH keeps reporting are from hospital audits of past months. Why can’t they do the audit once and for all and report the figures? MoH should provide reliable statistics on the pandemic. This is not only important for decision making by the government but also the private sector. The data will also help people make accurate assessment of risk and take the necessary precautions. Reporting inaccurate and out of date data doesn’t help anything or anyone,” said Njega.