Original Article

Mitigating household psychosocial and economic impact of Coronavirus pandemic in Mathare slums, Nairobi, Kenya: An initiative by the German doctors in Kenya

Alloysius L. Omoto, George Audi, Samira Hassan
Journal of Public Health in Africa | Vol 14, No 12 | a19 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4081/jphia.2023.2803 | © 2024 Alloysius L. Omoto, George Audi, Samira Hassan | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 12 March 2024 | Published: 30 December 2023

About the author(s)

Alloysius L. Omoto, Baraka Health Center, Mathare, Nairobi, Kenya
George Audi, Baraka Health Center, Mathare, Nairobi, Kenya
Samira Hassan, Baraka Health Center, Mathare, Nairobi, Kenya

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Abstract

The psychosocial and economic impact of Covid‑19 Pandemic in Mathare slums, Kenya, were adverse which necessitated mitigation strategies to be employed to cushion the most vulnerable and help them cope with the new ‘state of affairs’. The pandemic was characterized by a surge in the respiratory infections, unemployment, house‑ holds going hungry, gender‑based violence in families, child abuse cases and increased rates of teenage pregnancy. Retrospective case study design was employed; secondary data from hospital departments were extracted for analysis from March 2020 to December 2021. Interventions in focus were health service provision, gender based and child abuse services, food distribution, wet‑feeding program, business grants and house rent grants. The most common burden faced by Mathare residents was food insecurity which was mitigated by giving 9,423 Patients' food baskets while 1423 patients enrolled to the wet feeding program. Gender Based Violence services provided doubled in the year 2021 with physical and emotional violence being more common than sexual violence which was at 6.2%. Child abuse services were provided more in the year 2020 and 96 teenage mothers were assisted to go back to school. About 158 families received rent grants; which was a 30.4% increase from the year 2020. There was a 75.5% increase in the year 2021 of residents who received business grants. In a pandemic the effects are beyond health hence it is necessary to manage patients comprehensively using a multi‑sectorial approach. However, it is important to put regulations to avoid overdependence.

Keywords

Coronavirus; psychosocial; economic; Slums

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