One of Mbogo Mathioya’s responsibilities as Thika West, Kiambu, deputy county commissioner is to enforce Covid-19 protocols and mobilise residents to get vaccinated.
And after contracting the virus on August 13, he now believes it was a baptism by fire to make him the best ambassador in promoting personal safety and vaccinations.
“For the past 17 days, I have been down with Covid-19 and the pain and scare I have endured have revealed to me why I must ensure that health protocols are enforced so as to save as many people as possible from going through my painful experience,” he says.
Mr Mathioya narrated to Nation.africa how his visit to Modern Komarock Hospital in Nairobi’s Utawala estate on August 13 turned out to be his biggest Covid-19 nightmare.
He had driven himself to the hospital after developing a boil and a fever. Because of the fever, a Covid-19 test was recommended.
“I was casually reading the newspapers at the reception and two hours later I was called into the consultation room. The medics were already in PPEs,” he recalls.
He says he told the medics to cut off unnecessary drama in his case and tell him point-blank the outcome of the test.
“You have tested positive and you are now proceeding to isolation and immediate commencement of treatment,” he remembers the doctor telling him.
His mind raced backwards, trying to trace where he could have contracted the coronavirus.
Contracted the virus
“Security meetings in various boardrooms, interactions with members of the public during the call of duty, hospitality sector, friends or the streets. I could not lay my finger on the exact point I could have contracted the virus,” he says.
He admits that it is normal for humans to err and “in that philosophy I know sometimes I would drop my guard here and there in adhering to the laid down protocols”.
And would he like his story publicly told to sensitise others that Covid-19 is real?
“No problem. Go ahead. If it can inspire someone, so be it,” he wrote to Nation.africa.
On August 20, he completed his first phase of treatment and was ready for a review.
“The review tests indicated that my lungs had been affected. It was ruled that I be put in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) for specialised treatment,” he said.
From August 20 to August 23 he was on oxygen support.
“I was faced with the horror of buying oxygen to live, oxygen that in good health God gives us free of charge. That is when I realised how valuable life is and the immense favour God grants us to breathe,” he says.
He was reviewed again last Monday and was deemed to have stabilised. On Tuesday, he moved to the normal wards for observation before his eventual discharge on Friday.
“I am now doing the last bit to full recovery at home. I am lucky that my health insurance scheme will cater for the bills. I am also happy that no one else in my family tested positive for the virus out of interacting with me. Most importantly, I am happy to my God for the gift of life,” he says.
His message to Kenyans about the pandemic is straightforward: “Don’t joke with this coronavirus. Strive to escape its fangs for it inflicts maximum pain. But should you accidentally get hit by it, it’s not a determined killer. You can recover.”
Mr Mathioya says he will resume duty with a new resolve to protect Kenyans under his jurisdiction from those careless sectors flouting Covid-19 protocols.
“I know better now. Protecting Kenyans, especially from reckless bar owners and public transport, will be my agenda. But you have to protect yourself first before anyone else protects you. Go and get jabbed,” he says.