Aug 20, 2020
Veteran doctors create “Break the Chain” initiative to add impetus to Covid 19 fight

There is lots of information on the Covid 19 pandemic going around. Some of it factual, some of it false, and ‘experts’ are emerging everyday with various theories on the disease.

To deal with this, a group of senior doctors have come together to create the Break the Chain initiative through which they aim to be thought leaders and partners with the government in helping people see what they need to do to break the spread of the disease.

Through the initiative, senior doctors from various specialties will be available to respond to questions and queries on Covid 19 on social and mainstream media.

The effort aims to support and add impetus to the ongoing initiatives spearheaded by the Ministry of Health aimed at breaking the chain of new infections.

Coordinated by leading physician and cardiologist, Dr Robert Mathenge, the doctors will be working under the umbrella of an organisation known as Doctors for Healthy Living (DHL). DHL is a doctor-driven initiative that seeks to mobilise the public into changing behaviour in relation to serious public health threats. It provides a unique platform for individual doctors to play their part in contributing to promotion of public health outside their day-to-day medical practice.

“Break the Chain is about what we all need to do to help stop the spread as the virus that is passed on from one human to another mainly through touch,” said Dr. Mathenge.

Through The Initiative, The Doctors Will:

1.Through social media platforms, share facts about Covid 19 for different audience groups 2. Avail themselves to the media to serve as experts on various areas of medicine so as to ensure we have the right information all the time as we deal with the pandemic 3. Respond to questions raised by the public on a daily basis around Covid 19 and what we should do to stay safe 4. Help to create meaning and clarity needed to guide action out of the flood of information reaching Kenyans from numerous sources 5. Reinforce the messages being given by the Ministry of Health 6. Empathetically provide Kenyans with the will to act in the face of this new threat that has never been experienced before anywhere in the world

“During my 50 years of medical practice, I have never come across anything like this virus,” said Dr. Joseph Aluoch, a pioneer consultant chest physician, who is part of the Break the Chain team.

“In setting up DHL, we decided to create a vehicle through which doctors can directly play their part by spearheading public awareness to encourage them to adopt behaviours recommended by health authorities to save their lives and those of their loved ones,” said Dr. Mathenge, who is also the Chairman of DHL.

This is another national initiative being driven by DHL. In 2018, DHL hosted a national medical camp at Uhuru Park dubbed Know Your Numbers (KYN). Held in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, the Nairobi City County, the Nairobi Hospital and a host of other partners, the KYN campaign centred around raising awareness on the importance of people regularly measuring their blood pressure, body mass index (BMI), blood glucose, waist circumference and cholesterol in order to avert and manage non-communicable diseases and improve quality of life.