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  • Coronavirus pandemic

image copyrightKMPDUimage captionAn Egyptian by birth, Dr Emarah worked in Kenya for decades

The death from Covid-19 of Dr Ashraf Emarah, a senior plastic and reconstructive surgeon in Kenya, last month highlighted the plight of medics who are demanding more protection for those on the frontline of the battle against the pandemic, as Basillioh Mutahi reports.

When the surgeon, one of the top specialists in western Kenya, contracted the virus and his condition worsened there were no intensive care (ICU) beds available at his hospital – the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH) in Eldoret.

Dr Emarah had taught medical students at the MTRH, the country's second biggest referral hospital, for decades.

The doctor's family and colleagues then tried to get him transferred to the capital, Nairobi, hundreds of miles away.

But the cost of getting an air ambulance evacuation, was "too expensive", a doctors' union official said. A vital drug that he needed when his situation became critical was also hard to afford.