In Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, over 60% of the people live in informal settlement. Most of the residents who live here are day laborers with low, irregular incomes.
They usually live in overcrowded and poorly ventilated accommodation. Here, diseases such as tuberculosis are easy to spread from one person to the next through droplet infection.
Tuberculosis is not an incurable disease. Properly treated, patients recover within a few months. To do this, it is imperative to take antibiotics for a period of at least six months. If this is not done or not done continuously, the pathogens can become resistant and thus difficult or almost impossible to treat. For patients with weakened immune systems, the disease can then be fatal.
Malteser International has been working in the health sector in this region for over 20 years. The staff members know the living conditions of Nairobi’s slum residents very well.
Malteser International staff are active here to support 138 health clinics in case detection of Tuberculosis in the informal settlements, strengthen health worker capacity, and engage the local communities. Due to the condensed living conditions, tuberculosis can spread very fast but Malteser International can also reach many people with their work in a short time, to alleviate their health challenges.
The project is intended to register the number of reported cases of tuberculosis in accordance with the compulsory reporting requirement. Through this approach, children infected with tuberculosis in particular, are to be identified more easily and subsequently motivated to receive treatment at health centres. In addition, the success rate of the treatments is to be increased by encouraging the patients to carry out the respective therapy to the end.
In the long run, this should reduce the overall number of tuberculosis cases in the informal settlements of Nairobi. Malteser International provides the necessary services for this, in accordance with the needs of the affected population.