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Speaking at the dissemination workshop held at Rowcena Hotel in Busia County, the County Director of Medical Services Dr. Janerose Ambuchi expressed her gratitude to MMUST for working with Busia County to ensure their healthcare workers are equipped with appropriate knowledge while handling Covid 19 patients. “This is a rare opportunity granted to us to learn. These results are going to inform our future decisions,” she said.

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Dr. Ogutu presenting at the workshop.

The theme of the workshop was ‘Psychological Support Base, Emotional Dissonance and Psychological burn out on role performance of Covid 19 frontline Healthcare Workers, Busia County’, The workshop majored on outlining how emotional dissonance influences the performance of frontline healthcare workers. From the workshop outcome, it was clear that emotional dissonance resulted in higher levels of exhaustion and mental distress leading to reduced role performance. 

The outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic might have conflicted with the Healthcare Workers calling and professional orientation. It is certain that their obligation to save life might have been frustrated leading to exaggerated emotional dissonance and decline in performance output.

Addressing the workshop, Dr. Pamela Buhere stressed on the need to bridge the gap in the knowledge levels, which she said can help improve on the understanding on how to freely handle this pandemic “Knowledge levels have proved to have massive impact on severity and susceptibility. Let us bridge the gaps in training of healthcare workers to overcome the fear that comes with knowledge of Covid 19 adversities,” she said.  

The participants encompassed all cadres of frontline healthcare workers such as Doctors, Clinical officers, Nurses, Laboratory Technologists, Pharmacists, Record Officers and Accountants from various facilities in Busia County including Busia County Referral Hospital, Alupe, Kocholya, Khunyangu and Port Victoria Sub-County Hospitals.

Other MMUST research team members were Co-Principal Investigators Dr. Joel Ogutu and Mr. John Arudo, Ms. Frida M. Njeru as well as Ms. Doreen L. Sore. The research findings recommended the need to train all the frontline healthcare givers handling Covid 19 patients in order to manage fear and stigma. It was however notable that ‘The more the education on Covid 19, the more the fear.’ This was one of the challenges revealed that needed to be addressed in order to establish a lasting solution.

by Linet Owuor

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