Kericho County Mitigates The Scarcity Of Reagents By Relying On Chest CT Scan Results For Early Diagnosis Of COVID 19
Soon after the Coronavirus hit Kenya in March 2020, County hospitals initiated mass COVID-19 PCR testing but soon scaled down the testing citing reagents stock-out. Health facilities were required to prioritize testing of the elderly, those with underlying health conditions and patients presenting COVID-19 symptoms. COVID-19 patients are at high risk of dying from the disease if they don’t receive timely and quality medical care. In the case where there are no reagents, this is the likely scenario. Even when reagents are available, it may take up to 4 days for the results to be received, by which time the patients’ condition may have worsened leading to deaths. Early recognition of the disease is essential for the management of these patients.
To mitigate the scarcity of reagents, radiologists at the Kericho County Referral Hospital have been using chest CT scan results to diagnose COVID-19 at initial presentation. COVID-19 manifests with chest CT imaging abnormalities (ground-glass opacity and consolidation),
even in asymptomatic patients. Between November and December 2020 alone, over 50 patients had been diagnosed with COVID-19 using CT scan and successfully.