Corona and Slum dwellers in Nairobi
Afya Mtaani Report OCTOBER 2020
Covid 19 pandemic outbreak has negatively affected the lives of slum dwellers in so many ways. This population can hardly observe the measures put in place to prevent transmission. They live in crowded unhygienic structures and depend on daily wage for those who have the job otherwise the vast majority are jobless. Most people are faced with difficult choice of choosing whether to stay home and starve with their families or go out and risk contracting the disease. A very difficult choice!
Afya Mtaani is a community initiative of young graduate medical professionals who have decided to risk and support their community in the only way they can. Volunteer as medical advisors.
PBF has facilitated these young qualified but jobless medics to acquire basic medical kits with simple medical equipment and basic medication, for first aid. The group comprising of clinical officers a nurse and a medical student and a social worker have been conducting weekly medical camps in Mathare and Huruma slums in Nairobi.
They encounter very horrifying situations. People are generally avoiding going to medical facilities for fear of contracting Corona. Even those with chronic but manageable conditions like diabetes and HIV are no longer going for their medical clinics. The other problem is lack of means to afford prescribed drugs and hunger. Even patients with medications cannot take the medicine on empty stomach.
The October Medical Camp
General health checkup indiscriminately provided by Afya Mtaani was done for 10 people who enrolled their names for the camp. The patient’s ages varied from the youngest being 61 years old and the oldest being 78 years old. We did a routine screening for hypertension and sugar. There was a special case of a patient who had extremely high blood pressure and through this program, we were able to rescue the situation and referred the patient to the nearby health facility for further management. Free drugs were dispensed although we could not cover every patient since we have run out of drugs currently. Patients with altered findings and poor adherence to the old treatment were also referred to higher centers for further need.
Main complaints among the adult population were the inability to buy daily hypertensive and diabetic drugs because they lack the resources to do so. The numbers of Corona positive cases are increasing, and this has affected the source of income for the slum dwellers hence they depend on well-wishers. They also reported instances of sleeping on an empty stomach therefore taking medication at this point is not a priority to them. These diseases are preventable, provided proper treatment, medicines, and health awareness is extended to them. With your support, their health can be improved. Access to healthcare creates an opportunity for poor people to lead healthy lives.
Afya Mtaani provides free medical checkup, treatment, and medicines to the slum dwellers who are in dare need. We thank the PBF fraternity for the continued generosity and support.
Eunice Abok For Afya Mtaani Team.