The family of 28-year-old Dr. Stephen Mogusu who succumbed to Covid-19 on Monday is yet to collect his body from the morgue over an unpaid medical bill.
Reuters reported that the bodies of Mogusu and another doctor have been detained after their families were unable to pay hospital bills amounting to more than Sh1 million.
Mogusu died of Covid-19 complications while undergoing treatment at Kenyatta University Teaching and Referral Hospital.
He was employed on a temporary contract under the Universal Healthcare Coverage (UHC) and did not receive salary for the five months he worked at a Covid-19 isolation ward at a public hospital in Machakos, according to reports.
In an interview with Daily Nation on December 1st, Mogusu said after contracting the virus, he could not afford to buy diapers for his four-month-old daughter or feed his family.
Kenya Medical Association told Reuters that Mogusu is the latest victim of a healthcare system that is sending healthcare workers to treat Covid-19 patients without adequate protection. The system has also failed to insure the workers for treatment if they get infected and is not paying wages.
“The life and death of the young doctor summarize all that is wrong with government engagement with doctors,” Kenya Medical Association secretary-general Simon Kigondu said.
The Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) said Mogusu is the 14th Kenyan doctor to die of the virus.
On Wednesday, members of the Kenyan medical fraternity held a vigil outside the Health Ministry headquarters in Nairobi to honor colleagues who died from Covid-19.
“It’s not worth dying for this system. If I could tell anything to my younger self, it would be don’t join medicine,” said Amina Mohammed, a former classmate of Mogusu.
“We are the caregivers and protectors of this country, yet we are treated like trash.”
The government through the Health Ministry earlier indicated it will take care of Mogusu’s hospital bill.