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Doctors make homemade meals for colleagues in the front line

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By FAITH ONEYA

Pope Francis referred to the people on the front lines of the Covid-19 battle, the ones who work so that the society can keep functioning, as the “the saints who live next door”.

Doctors and nurses, especially, risk their lives every day. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there were 22, 073 cases of Covid-19 among Healthcare workers from 52 countries by April 8, 2020.

Apart from their physical welfare, their emotional, mental and social health are often imperilled and the pandemic has exacerbated the problem. This is what prompted five medical doctors to do something about it by pooling their resources to provide homemade meals for their colleagues.

Dr Yubrine Moraa Gachemba (physician- internal medicine), Dr Kevin Ndede (consultant physician and lecturer), Dr Stellah Bosire (MD and global health expert), Dr Tim Theuri (dental surgeon and national secretary, General Kenya Dental Association) and Dr Davis Ombui (consultant physician and lecturer) are drawn together by friendship, love for food, cooking and a sense of social justice. As they work in shifts, they used their off days to bring smiles to the faces of their colleagues. 

“We wanted to do something to lessen the social and mental impact of Covid-19 on health workers and what better way to do that than with some homemade food?” Dr Gachemba poses.

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On April 13, they traded their stethoscopes for pots and pans, treating the healthcare workers at Kenyatta National Hospital Infectious Disease Unit– Mbagathi to a sumptuous meal of cumin rice, marinated grilled chicken and pounded salad.

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Dr Theuri and Dr Ndede cooked while the rest of the duties like packing and distribution were shared among the rest of the team members.  

“We took all the safety precautions we needed to when going to the hospital. We wore our masks and gloves. We cleaned and disinfected the cars and did not overload,” says Dr Bosire.

“By going there, we also did our part in combating the stigma around Covid-19,” adds Dr Yubrine.

Kenyans on social media responded positively to the heart-warming gesture, with some offering financial support while others pledged to start their own local versions. They plan to extend the gesture to all the other public Covid-19 facilities in Nairobi.

“We plan to cook a lot of grills, curries and pastries. Our motto is ‘if it can be cooked, we will cook it!” says Dr Theuri.





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