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The 50 best-paying big companies of 2018, according to employees – Tech – Pulselive.co.ke

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Job-hunting site Comparably, which allows employees to anonymously review and rate their employers, has sifted through its 5 million+ employee reviews to come up with its annual list of the best paying large companies.

Comparably currently tracks about 10,000 companies, it says.

In order to qualify for this list, Comparably limited the list to companies which had more than 500 employees and had at least 50 ratings from employees between September 12, 2017 and September 12, 2018.

In order to rank these companies, Comparably considered both pay and how satisfied employees said they were with their pay. Please note that the pay data listed below came from information that employees reported to Comparably themselves. And it centered mostly on salaried roles in engineering, product, marketing, design, sales and finance, as opposed to hourly-wage type roles.

The result is this list of the 50 best paying big companies, according to employees:

No. 50: Kaiser Permanente, $119,529


Kaiser Permanente CEO Bernard Tysonplay

Kaiser Permanente CEO Bernard Tyson

(Reuters)

Headquarters: Oakland, California

Median salary: $119,529

Highest paid department median salary: IT, $152,951

Kaiser Permanente is the national health care provider that pioneered the HMO.

A Kaiser Permanente employee says, “I have no complaints here, it’s one of the best reasons to work for this company. Salary is above average for the work, regular annual raises and bonus, and the pension.”

No 49: Procter & Gamble, $121,845


P&G CEO David Taylorplay

P&G CEO David Taylor

(P&G)

Headquarters: Cincinnati

Median salary: $121,845

Highest paid department median salary: Marketing, $148,938

Procter & Gamble manufacturers consumer goods.

A Procter & Gamble employee says, “P&G is a great company to work for, provides very generous benefits and compensation. The ability to buy additional vacation hours up to the six-week mark is hands down the coolest part.”

No. 48: Verizon, $122,603


Hans Vestbergplay

Hans Vestberg

(Reuters/Steve Marcus)

Headquarters: Basking Ridge, New Jersey

Median salary: $122,603

Highest paid department median salary: Sales, $160,771

Verizon Wireless is a telecommunications company.

A Verizon employee says, “We get paid well for what we do. We have a high base pay, profit sharing, and potential for short term incentives and monetary bonuses. The annual bonus is the best part. In my 17 years here, the company has never reneged on it.”

No. 47: Starbucks, $122,615


Starbucks former CEO and chairman emeritus Howard Schultz greets employeesplay

Starbucks former CEO and chairman emeritus Howard Schultz greets employees

(Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Headquarters: Seattle, Washington

Median salary: $122,615

Highest paid department median salary: Business Development, $168,090

Starbucks is an international chain of coffee shops.

A Starbucks employee says, “Total comp package is fantastic. Generous stock options and 401K. You can work part time and still get paid vacation/sick and matching 401K.”

No. 46: Comcast, $123,446


Comcast CEO Brian Robertsplay

Comcast CEO Brian Roberts

(Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Headquarters: Philadelphia

Median salary: $123,446

Highest paid department median salary: Product, $150,475

Comcast is a media and cable giant with two primary businesses: Comcast Cable and NBCUniversal.

A Comcast employee says, “They pay very well and very fair. Quarterly bonuses are some of the best. It is reflective of your performance.”

No. 45: The Home Depot, $125,142


No. 45: The Home Depot, $125,142play

No. 45: The Home Depot, $125,142

(Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Headquarters: Atlanta, Georgia

Median salary: $125,142

Highest paid department median salary: Product, $160,732

Home Depot is a home improvement retailer.

A Home Depot employee says, “Compensation is multi-fold and makes me feel like I literally have stock in the company.”

No. 44: Blizzard Entertainment, $126,313


Blizzard CEO Michael Morhaime (left) and co-founder Allen Adham.play

Blizzard CEO Michael Morhaime (left) and co-founder Allen Adham.

(Mark Davis / Getty Images)

Headquarters: Irvine, California

Median salary: $126,313

Highest paid department median salary: Design, $178,977

Blizzard Entertainment is a video game developer.

A Blizzard employee says, “Fair base and bonus comp compared to other departments and regions. Regular review and benchmarking of my compensation against other companies and profit sharing is the best part.”

No. 43: Pegasystems, $126,802


Pegasystems CEO Alan Treflerplay

Pegasystems CEO Alan Trefler

(YouTube)

Headquarters: Cambridge, Massachusetts

Median salary: $126,802

Highest paid department median salary: Product, $162,636

PegaSystems makes marketing and customer service software.

A PegaSystems employee says, “Stocks are currently raising, so it is a significant addition to salary, I am paid fairly compared to the market and my peers with yearly bonuses and performance based rewards.”

No. 42: Trimble, $129,434


Steven Berglund, president and CEO of Trimble.play

Steven Berglund, president and CEO of Trimble.

(Trimble)

Headquarters: Sunnyvale, California

Median salary: $129,434

Highest paid department median salary: Product, $165,815

Trimble makes global navigation satellite systems receivers, laser rangefinders, unmanned aerial vehicles and other such tech.

A Trimble employee says, “Competitive salary and PTO accrual. Company equity and bonus potential is great.”

No. 41: Dynatrace, $130,406


John Van Siclen, CEO of Dynatraceplay

John Van Siclen, CEO of Dynatrace

(Dynatrace)

Headquarters: Waltham, Massachusetts

Median salary: $130,406

Highest paid department median salary: Sales, $169,587

Dynatrace helps companies track and understand the performance of their software applications.

A Dynatrace employee says, “Great package and bonus scheme. I think my pay is competitive with the job market in my area. Base pay is substantial. I am paid enough that income isn’t a concern in my personal life.”

No. 40: Golden Hippo Media, $131,095


Golden Hippo Media employeesplay

Golden Hippo Media employees

(Golden Hippo Media)

Headquarters: Woodland Hills, California

Median salary: $131,095

Highest paid department median salary: Product, $149,305

Golden Hippo Media is creative marketing company that specializes in health, wellness, and beauty products.

A Golden Hippo Media employee says, “The opportunity to earn monthly KPI related bonuses. Plus performance based raises.”

No. 39: Aflac, $131,377


(Aflac) Chairman Daniel Amos (L) poses with Japan Post Holdings President Taizo Nishimuro at their joint news conference in Tokyo.play

(Aflac) Chairman Daniel Amos (L) poses with Japan Post Holdings President Taizo Nishimuro at their joint news conference in Tokyo.

(Kyodo/Reuters)

Headquarters: Columbus, Georgia

Median salary: $131,377

Highest paid department median salary: Sales, $157,331

Aflac is an insurance company that specializes in supplemental insurance.

An Aflac employee says, “Unlimited earning potential and stock bonus.”

No. 38: UiPath, $132,919


No. 38: UiPath, $132,919play

No. 38: UiPath, $132,919

(UiPath)

Headquarters: New York

Median salary: $132,919

Highest paid department median salary: Product, $165,219

UiPath offers software that helps companies automate business processes.

A UiPath employee says, “Higher than average salary and lucrative stock.”

No. 37: Workfront, $133,262


No. 37: Workfront, $133,262play

No. 37: Workfront, $133,262

(Workfront)

Headquarters: Lehi, Utah

Median salary: $133,262

Highest paid department median salary: Product, $158,097

Workfront offers cloud-based project management software.

A Workfront employee says, “Competitive pay, better than most companies within the same role. I feel I get paid appropriately for my level of expertise.”

No. 36: ADP, $133,635


Frank Lautenberg and Josh Weston.play

Frank Lautenberg and Josh Weston.

(ADP)

Headquarters: Roseland, New Jersey

Median salary: $133,635

Highest paid department median salary: Product, $171,480

ADP provides payroll and human resources software and services.

An ADP employee says, “I have everything I need and then some. ADP doesn’t skimp out on anything. Compensation is aggressive when you’re a top performer. Bonus is 10% of my salary. They really take care of us an incentivize us in the right ways.”

No. 35: Edifecs, $133,816


Sunny Singh, CEO of Edifecsplay

Sunny Singh, CEO of Edifecs

(Digital Life Design)

Headquarters: Bellevue, Washington

Median salary: $133,816

Highest paid department median salary: Product, $156,291

Edifecs offers software to healthcare providers.

An Edifecs employee says, “[The best part of the compensation package is] the benefits. We have 5 weeks’ vacation and an onsite well-being center that offers daily yoga, massage, tea, walks – as well as cooking classes, personal training, life coaching and nutritional counseling.”

No. 34: American Express, $134,931


No. 34: American Express, $134,931play

No. 34: American Express, $134,931

(Glassdoor)

Headquarters: New York

Median salary: $134,931

Highest paid department median salary: Engineering, $154,166

American Express is a financial services company.

An Amex employee says, “Far above what most others offer. Great compensation, great schemes, great offers, great packages.”

No. 33: PayPal, $137,056


No. 33: PayPal, $137,056play

No. 33: PayPal, $137,056

(Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Headquarters: San Jose, California

Median salary: $137,056

Highest paid department median salary: Business Development, $181,247

PayPal is an online payment provider.

A PayPal employee says, “Killer insurance and great stock benefits.”

No. 32: The Coca-Cola Company, $137,296


No. 32: The Coca-Cola Company, $137,296play

No. 32: The Coca-Cola Company, $137,296

(Benoit Tessier/Reuters)

Headquarters: Atlanta, Georgia

Median salary: $137,296

Highest paid department median salary: Marketing, $153,665

Coca-Cola makes a wide variety of beverages.

A Coca-Cola employee says, “Greatest place I have ever worked. The new bonus structure is significant.”

No. 31: Nevro, $137,334


No. 31: Nevro, $137,334play

No. 31: Nevro, $137,334

(Nevro/Glassdoor)

Headquarters: Redwood City, California

Median salary: $137,334

Highest paid department median salary: Engineering, $156,099

Nevro is a medical device company.

A Nevro employee says, “Nevro’s benefits (base, bonus, benefits, stock) are outstanding and I believe my salary and bonus structure reflect my work level. The best part about it comes from the continual review of my compensation.”

No. 30: Delta Air Lines, $138,127


No. 30: Delta Air Lines, $138,127play

No. 30: Delta Air Lines, $138,127

(Delta)

Headquarters: Atlanta, Georgia

Median salary: $138,127

Highest paid department median salary: Engineering, $168,531

Delta is an airline.

A Delta employee says, “Our pay is industry leading (compared to what other airlines pay) and phenomenal profit sharing to all employees creates ownership of the operation.”

No. 29: Amazon, $138,413


Amazon CEO Jeff Bezosplay

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos

(Ted S. Warren/AP)

Headquarters: Seattle, Washington

Median salary: $138,413

Highest paid department median salary: Product, $164,299

Amazon is an e-commerce retailer and cloud technology provider.

An Amazon employee says, “I love how my compensation package consists of my base wage as well as stocks. We are given annual raises and promotional opportunities so there is always room to increase my earnings.”

No. 28: Indeed.com, $139,161


Indeed CEO Hisayuki Idekobaplay

Indeed CEO Hisayuki Idekoba

(Indeed)

Headquarters: Austin, Texas

Median salary: $139,161

Highest paid department median salary: Product, $169,804

Indeed is an online job hunting and job listing site.

An Indeed employee says, “Best benefit package I’ve ever had. Unlimited PTO and very generous quarterly bonus based on performance. Higher base salary than other businesses.”

No. 27: Visa, $139,333


No. 27: Visa, $139,333play

No. 27: Visa, $139,333

(Getty/Dave Kotinsky)

Headquarters: Foster City, California

Median salary: $139,333

Highest paid department median salary: Engineering, $170,158

Visa is a financial services company.

A Visa employee says, “Best part of the comp package is the pay for performance. Pay is competitive and equitable with pension plan and stock grants.”

No. 26: Axon, $139,573


Rick Smith, CEO & Founder of Axonplay

Rick Smith, CEO & Founder of Axon

(Axon)

Headquarters: Scottsdale, Arizona

Median salary: $139,573

Highest paid department median salary: Sales, $170,561

Axon offer taser weapons for law enforcement and civilians.

An Axon employee says, “Solid mix of salary, bonus, and equity – plus above average health coverage.”

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No. 25: VMware, $141,178


VMware CEO Pat Gelsingerplay

VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger

(Yuya Shino/Reuters)

Headquarters: Palo Alto, California

Median salary: $141,178

Highest paid department median salary: Business Development, $167,083

VMware makes software that helps computer servers, mobile devices and computer networks run more efficiently.

A VMware employee says, “Good package. Regular bonuses, incentives, and benefits.”

No. 24: Wells Fargo, $141,496


No. 24: Wells Fargo, $141,496play

No. 24: Wells Fargo, $141,496

(Rick Wilking/ Reuters)

Headquarters: San Francisco

Median salary: $141,496

Highest paid department median salary: Sales, $165,685

Wells Fargo is a financial services company.

A Wells Fargo employee says, “I have received raises and compensation based off of my work ethic the last 3 years I’ve been there. They’ve always taken amazing care of me.”

No. 23: Red Bull, $142,169


Red Bull CEO Dietrich Mateschitzplay

Red Bull CEO Dietrich Mateschitz

(AP/ANDREAS SCHAAD)

Headquarters: Santa Monica, California

Median salary: $142,169

Highest paid department median salary: Product, $156,250

Red Bull makes caffeinated energy drinks.

A Red Bull employee says, “Best compensation and benefits in the entire marketplace. You get paid for the work you put in by getting a percentage of the monthly goals.”

No. 22: Nike, $142,815


No. 22: Nike, $142,815play

No. 22: Nike, $142,815

(Mary Altaffer/AP)

Headquarters: Beaverton, Oregon

Median salary: $142,815

Highest paid department median salary: Product, $160,776

Nike makes sports shoes and apparel.

A Nike employee says, “Nike’s secret sauce: good salary, excellent benefits, amazing people. Fair pay for my role; I work hard and am compensated well. Aggressive paid time off earnings, sabbatical, great stock purchase options.”

No. 21: NVIDIA, $143,506


Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huangplay

Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang

(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Headquarters: Santa Clara, California

Median salary: $143,506

Highest paid department median salary: Design, $162,516

Nvidia makes motherboard chip-sets, graphic processing units, and game consoles.

An NVIDIA employee says, “The Equity Stock Purchase Program is the best!”

No. 20: Goldman Sachs, $143,932


No. 20: Goldman Sachs, $143,932play

No. 20: Goldman Sachs, $143,932

(Chris Hondros/Getty Images)

Headquarters: New York, New York

Median salary: $143,932

Highest paid department median salary: Sales, $157,421

Goldman Sachs is an investment bank and financial services company.

A Goldman Sachs employee says, “The best part of the comp package is the amount of vacation days.”

No. 19: Zynga, $144,113


No. 19: Zynga, $144,113play

No. 19: Zynga, $144,113

(Thomson Reuters)

Headquarters: San Francisco, California

Median salary: $144,113

Highest paid department median salary: Design, $166,881

Zynga is a game developer.

A Zynga employee says, “Compensation feels fair and representative of a meritocracy. I appreciate the transparent talks I’ve had with my supervisors who make me feel valued and like they have my best interests in mind.”

No. 18: LinkedIn, $144,327


No. 18: LinkedIn, $144,327play

No. 18: LinkedIn, $144,327

(Glassdoor)

Headquarters: Sunnyvale, California

Median salary: $144,327

Highest paid department median salary: Product, $169,645

LinkedIn is a professional networking site.

A LinkedIn employee says, “The best part is the 401K match.”

No. 17: Adobe $145,636


Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayenplay

Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen

(Rick Wilking/Reuters)

Headquarters: San Jose, California

Median salary: $145,636

Highest paid department median salary: Business Development, $175,740

Adobe offers software for digital marketing and creative projects.

An Adobe employee says, “The ESPP is very generous. New RSU grants annually. Competitive with other tech companies.”

No. 16: Zillow, $146,097


Zillow employees celebrate Zocktoberfest at their officesplay

Zillow employees celebrate Zocktoberfest at their offices

(Glassdoor/Zillow)

Headquarters: Seattle, Washington

Median salary: $146,097

Highest paid department median salary: Engineering, $160,847

Zillow is an online real estate marketplace.

A Zillow employee says, “New equity granted every year, comprehensive and competitive benefits package.”

No. 15: LogMeIn, $147,035


LogMein CEO Bill Wagnerplay

LogMein CEO Bill Wagner

(LogMein)

Headquarters: Boston, Massachusetts

Median salary: $147,035

Highest paid department median salary: IT, $172,247

LogMeIn offers cloud-based remote connectivity software.

A LogMeIn employee says, “Generous allowances for medical coverage are hugely beneficial for all, particularly those with children.”

No. 14: Hubspot, $148,118


HubSpot employeesplay

HubSpot employees

(HubSpot/Glassdoor)

Headquarters: Cambridge, Massachusetts

Median salary: $148,118

Highest paid department median salary: Business Development, $177,269

HubSpot offers cloud based marketing software.

A HubSpot employee says, “HubSpot gives competitive salaries and commissions, with great opportunities for RSUs as well!”

No. 13: T-Mobile, $148,220


T-Mobile US CEO John Legereplay

T-Mobile US CEO John Legere

(Steve Marcus/Reuters)

Headquarters: Bellevue, Washington

Median salary: $148,220

Highest paid department median salary: Product, $163,711

T-Mobile is a telecommunications company.

A T-Mobile employee says, “Bonus and stock options are the best part, on top of competitive salary.”

No. 12: eBay, $149,157


eBay CEO Devin Wenigplay

eBay CEO Devin Wenig

(eBay)

Headquarters: San Jose, California

Median salary: $149,157

Highest paid department median salary: Engineering, $169,663

eBay is an online marketplace.

An eBay employee says, “The stock plan and 401K are great. Bonuses are based on my contribution as well as my team’s performance.”

No. 11: Bloomberg, $149,278


No. 11: Bloomberg, $149,278play

No. 11: Bloomberg, $149,278

Headquarters: New York

Median salary: $149,278

Highest paid department median salary: Product, $162,987

Bloomberg a software, data, and media company.

A Bloomberg employee says, “Compensation level is generally better than most FinTech or Financial Services firms. Benefits are first rate.”

No. 10: Chevron, $149,391


No. 10: Chevron, $149,391play

No. 10: Chevron, $149,391

(Glassdoor)

Headquarters: San Ramon, California

Median salary: $149,391

Highest paid department median salary: Business Development, $164,767

Chevron is and oil and energy company.

A Chevron employee says, “Pay is more than fair, and they put away twice the amount that you do for your pension, plus annuities are crazy good.”

No. 9: Intuit, $149,629


Intuit CEO Brad Smithplay

Intuit CEO Brad Smith

(Brad Smith)

Headquarters: Mountain View, California

Median salary: $149,629

Highest paid department median salary: Engineering, $176,504

Intuit offers business and financial software.

An Intuit employee says, “The RSUs are an amazing part of the comp package, we are fortunate that we get stock as part of our annual review. Last year my RSUs at focal were more than my bonus! I plan to cash them in next year as a down payment for a new house.”

No. 8: Cisco, $150,177


No. 8: Cisco, $150,177play

No. 8: Cisco, $150,177

(Katie Canales/Business Insider)

Headquarters: San Jose, California

Median salary: $150,177

Highest paid department median salary: Sales, $171,538

Cisco makes products for computer networks, computer security and data centers.

A Cisco employee says, “The bonus plan is given to all levels and is generous; 15% of your base salary.”

No. 7: Accenture, $150,216


Accenture CEO and chairman Pierre Nanterme.play

Accenture CEO and chairman Pierre Nanterme.

(Accenture)

Headquarters: New York

Median salary: $150,216

Highest paid department median salary: Product, $177,776

Accenture is a global management consulting company.

An Accenture employee says, “Compensation package is competitive in consulting and more than industry, enough that I’ve turned down other job offers.”

No. 6: Apple, $151,239


Apple CEO Tim Cookplay

Apple CEO Tim Cook

(Justin Sullivan / Getty Images)

Headquarters: Cupertino, California

Median salary: $151,239

Highest paid department median salary: Engineering, $178,177

Apple is a smartphone and PC technology company.

An Apple employee says, “Good salary, cash bonuses and RSUs. Stock is high performing.”

No. 5: Netflix, $152,262


No. 5: Netflix, $152,262play

No. 5: Netflix, $152,262

(Getty Images)

Headquarters: Los Gatos, California

Median salary: $152,262

Highest paid department median salary: Engineering, $202,662

Netflix is a video streaming service.

A Netflix employee says, “[Compensation is] based on the value you bring, not tied to anyone else’s performance.”

No. 4: Microsoft, $152,776


Microsoft CEO Satya Nadellaplay

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

(Microsoft)

Headquarters: Redmond, Washington

Median salary: $152,776

Highest paid department median salary: Product, $191,558

Microsoft is a maker of software, PCs and video game consoles.

A Microsoft employee says, “Best part of the compensation: flexible hours. I know that doesn’t sound like compensation, but it’s very tightly coupled. I get paid for delivering results, not what time I show up or how late I stay. That makes a big difference in how I see my compensation.”

No. 3: Salesforce, $153,636


No. 3: Salesforce, $153,636play

No. 3: Salesforce, $153,636

(Thomson Reuters)

Headquarters: San Francisco, California

Median salary: $153,636

Highest paid department median salary: Business Development, $181,974

Salesforce offers cloud-based software for marketing and customer support.

A Salesforce employee says, “In my fifteen years at Salesforce, compensation has never been a question – we are treated very well!”

No. 2: Facebook, $156,455


Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook employeesplay

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook employees

(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Headquarters: Menlo Park, California

Median salary: $156,455

Highest paid department median salary: Product, $188,672

Facebook is a social network.

A Facebook employee says, “They do pay very well, including very generous benefit packages.”

No. 1: Google, $161,409


Google CEO Sundar Pichaiplay

Google CEO Sundar Pichai

(Google)

Headquarters: Mountain View, California

Median salary: $161,409

Highest paid department median salary: Engineering, $198,525

Google is an Internet search engine and mobile device company.

A Google employee says, “I did not need to counter-offer here, they knew my value on my initial offer.”



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Public officers above 58 years and with pre-existing conditions told to work from home: The Standard

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Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua. [File, Standard]
In a document from Head of Public Service, Joseph Kinyua new measure have been outlined to curb the bulging spread of covid-19. Public officers with underlying health conditions and those who are over 58 years -a group that experts have classified as most vulnerable to the virus will be required to execute their duties from home.

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However, the new rule excluded personnel in the security sector and other critical and essential services.
“All State and public officers with pre-existing medical conditions and/or aged 58 years and above serving in CSG5 (job group ‘S’) and below or their equivalents should forthwith work from home,” read the document,” read the document.
To ensure that those working from home deliver, the Public Service directs that there be clear assignments and targets tasked for the period designated and a clear reporting line to monitor and review work done.
SEE ALSO: Thinking inside the cardboard box for post-lockdown work stations
Others measures outlined in the document include the provision of personal protective equipment to staff, provision of sanitizers and access to washing facilities fitted with soap and water, temperature checks for all staff and clients entering public offices regular fumigation of office premises and vehicles and minimizing of visitors except by prior appointments.
Officers who contract the virus and come back to work after quarantine or isolation period will be required to follow specific directives such as obtaining clearance from the isolation facility certified by the designated persons indicating that the public officer is free and safe from Covid-19. The officer will also be required to stay away from duty station for a period of seven days after the date of medical certification.
“The period a public officer spends in quarantine or isolation due to Covid-19, shall be treated as sick leave and shall be subject to the Provisions of the Human Resource Policy and procedures Manual for the Public Service(May,2016),” read the document.
The service has also made discrimination and stigmatization an offence and has guaranteed those affected with the virus to receive adequate access to mental health and psychosocial supported offered by the government.
The new directives targeting the Public Services come at a time when Kenyans have increasingly shown lack of strict observance of the issued guidelines even as the number of positive Covid-19 cases skyrocket to 13,771 and leaving 238 dead as of today.
SEE ALSO: Working from home could be blessing in disguise for persons with disabilities
Principal Secretaries/ Accounting Officers will be personally responsible for effective enforcement and compliance of the current guidelines and any future directives issued to mitigate the spread of Covid-19.

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Uhuru convenes summit to review rising Covid-19 cases: The Standard

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President Uhuru Kenyatta (pictured) will on Friday, July 24, meet governors following the ballooning Covid-19 infections in recent days.
The session will among other things review the efficacy of the containment measures in place and review the impact of the phased easing of the restrictions, State House said in a statement.
This story is being updated.
SEE ALSO: Sakaja resigns from Covid-19 Senate committee, in court tomorrow

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Drastic life changes affecting mental health

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Kenya has been ranked 6th among African countries with the highest cases of depression, this has triggered anxiety by the World Health Organization (WHO), with 1.9 million people suffering from a form of mental conditions such as depression, substance abuse.

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Globally, one in four people is affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives, this is according to the WHO.

Currently, around 450 million people suffer from such conditions, placing mental disorders among the leading causes of ill-health and disability worldwide.

The pandemic has also been known to cause significant distress, mostly affecting the state of one’s mental well-being.

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With the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic attributed to the novel Coronavirus disease, millions have been affected globally with over 14 million infections and half a million deaths as to date. This has brought about uncertainty coupled with difficult situations, including job loss and the risk of contracting the deadly virus.

In Kenya the first Coronavirus case was reported in Nairobi by the Ministry of Health on the 12th March 2020.  It was not until the government put in place precautionary measures including a curfew and lockdown (the latter having being lifted) due to an increase in the number of infections that people began feeling its effect both economically and socially.

A study by Dr. Habil Otanga,  a Lecturer at the University of Nairobi, Department of Psychology says  that such measures can in turn lead to surge in mental related illnesses including depression, feelings of confusion, anger and fear, and even substance abuse. It also brings with it a sense of boredom, loneliness, anger, isolation and frustration. In the post-quarantine/isolation period, loss of employment due to the depressed economy and the stigma around the disease are also likely to lead to mental health problems.

The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) states that at least 300,000 Kenyans have lost their jobs due to the Coronavirus pandemic between the period of January and March this year.

KNBC noted that the number of employed Kenyans plunged to 17.8 million as of March from 18.1 million people as compared to last year in December. The Report states that the unemployment rate in Kenya stands at 13.7 per cent as of March this year while it stood 12.4 per cent in December 2019.

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Mama T (not her real name) is among millions of Kenyans who have been affected by containment measures put in place to curb the spread of the virus, either by losing their source of income or having to work under tough guidelines put in place by the MOH.

As young mother and an event organizer, she has found it hard to explain to her children why they cannot go to school or socialize freely with their peers as before.

“Sometimes it gets difficult as they do not understand what is happening due to their age, this at times becomes hard on me as they often think I am punishing them,”

Her contract was put on hold as no event or public gatherings can take place due to the pandemic. This has brought other challenges along with it, as she has to find means of fending for her family expenditures that including rent and food.

“I often wake up in the middle of the night with worries about my next move as the pandemic does not exhibit any signs of easing up,” she says. She adds that she has been forced to sort for manual jobs to keep her family afloat.

Ms. Mary Wahome, a Counseling Psychologist and Programs Director at ‘The Reason to Hope,’ in Karen, Nairobi says that such kind of drastic life changes have an adverse effect on one’s mental status including their family members and if not addressed early can lead to depression among other issues.

“We have had cases of people indulging in substance abuse to deal with the uncertainty and stress brought about by the pandemic, this in turn leads to dependence and also domestic abuse,”

Sam Njoroge , a waiter at a local hotel in Kiambu, has found himself indulging in substance abuse due to challenges he is facing after the hotel he was working in was closed down as it has not yet met the standards required by the MOH to open.

“My day starts at 6am where I go to a local pub, here I can get a drink for as little as Sh30, It makes me suppress the frustration I feel.” he says.

Sam is among the many who have found themselves in the same predicament and resulted to substance abuse finding ways to beat strict measures put in place by the government on the sale of alcohol so as to cope.

Mary says, situations like Sam’s are dangerous and if not addressed early can lead to serious complications, including addiction and dependency, violent behavior and also early death due to health complications.

She has, however, lauded the government for encouraging mental wellness and also launching the Psychological First Aid (PFA) guide in the wake of the virus putting emphasis on the three action principal of look, listen and link. “When we follow this it will be easy to identify an individual in distress and also offer assistance”.

Mary has urged anyone feeling the weight of the virus taking a toll on them not to hesitate but look for someone to talk to.

“You should not only seek help from a specialist but also talk to a friend, let them know what you are undergoing and how you feel, this will help ease their emotional stress and also find ways of dealing with the situation they are facing,” She added

Mary continued to stress on the need to perform frequent body exercises as a form of stress relief, reading and also taking advantage of this unfortunate COVID-19 period to engage in hobbies and talent development.

“Let people take this as an opportunity to kip fit, get in touch with one’s inner self and  also engage in   reading that would  help expand their knowledge.

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