Kenya: Covid-19 patients' rights that should be respected, including by the private sector

Author: Cathy Mputhia, Business Daily (Kenya), Published on: 26 May 2020

"Constitutional rights of Covid-19 patients"

The State and private institutions have an obligation to uphold the constitutional rights of Covid-19 patients. The disease brings to the spotlight a few constitutional issues as set out in the Bill of rights. There are several ways that the constitutional rights of Covid-19 patients are being breached. Take the case where an employer dismisses a staff member on suspicion that he is positive. This is clearly discriminatory and an abuse of such a person’s constitutional rights...

The main right to be upheld during this period is that to health. This is contained in Article 43 (1) (a) which guarantees all persons the right to health or the right to receive the highest attainable standard of health and services. This is very important for Covid-19 patients who seek treatment. Treatment should not be denied on the grounds of status. According to the Health Act, every person has the right to receive emergency medical attention notwithstanding their ability to pay. Health facilities have an obligation to provide this care. However, the definition of emergency care is all the treatment required to stabilise a patient. These people are entitled to receive medical care if they need emergency attention due to the disease...

Covid-19 patients have a right to privacy and a right to have their status kept confidential. It is wrong to publish a patient’s results whatever the outcome. This is found in Article 31 of the Constitution. The Data Protection Act also protects the privacy rights of Covid-19 patients who have personal data rights. The provisions of this law, are such that the personal data of a patient can be used only as per the prescription of the law. It is, therefore, a contravention of privacy rights to release the results to a third party without authority.

Read the full post here