All over the world, frontline health workers have paid the ultimate price during the coronavirus pandemic. But in Kenya the story of one young doctor’s heroism has made headlines for all the wrong reasons. Twenty eight year-old Stephen Mogusu died from Covid 19 in December 2020, after working on an isolation ward and complaining that he lacked adequate protective clothing. Despite his vital service, he hadn’t been paid a salary for five months. Stephen’s tragedy also exposes a wider malaise in Kenya’s health provision: A corruption scandal involving overpriced masks, aprons and other protective clothing. Meanwhile, across the country, a series of on-off strikes have disrupted care, as doctors, nurses and clinicians have made sporadic protests against alleged mismanagement and a devolved power structure they say is dysfunctional. For Assignment, Lucy Ash finds out what’s ailing Kenya’s healthcare system.
Producer: Michael Gallagher
Editor: Bridget Harney
(Image: Healthcare workers light candles next to a photograph of Doctor Stephen Mogusu. Credit: Dennis Sigwe/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)