Patmos School Healthcare Program 2021
On Thursday 9th and Friday 10th December, 2021 Doctor Daniel Okal Busela (Dr. Dan), carried out the second of the twice yearly Patmos School health checks on the children in Mathare. In total 181 Patmos school children were examined by Dr Dan assisted by his nurse Caroline.
During the first day of this two day event, the doctor examined each child to ensure there were no health problems and where minor infections were identified the relevant treatment was prescribed. Some children were found to be suffering from fungal infection and intestinal worm infections including hookworm, whipworm and roundworm. The health checks took place in the Patmos School playground with the assistance of the school social workers and teachers.
Day two activities were carried out at Dr. Dan’s Clinic in Mathare. The Pre-School class who were accompanied by their teachers were the first children to be seen by the doctor. They were followed by the lower classes and finally the upper primary classes. The children were administered with oral multi vitamin supplements and deworming preparations.
Dr Dan has been supporting the school for the past seven years and under the School Health Program (SHP) he has provided the children with half yearly health checks, de-worming treatments and oral vitamin supplements.
His small medical clinic has been serving the people of Mathare for over 20 years and he is a well- respected member of the community. Most clinics in Mathare are only open for limited periods each day and are closed at the weekend. Dr. Dan’s clinic is open for long periods each day and remains open at the weekends providing a good service for the children and local people. The clinic is located in the Mathare 4B District and he operates the clinic from a small rented house which has only very basic equipment and a limited supply of drugs. Because of the lack of medical facilities he is only able to treat minor illnesses and offer an outpatients service for his patients.
Intestinal worm infections including hookworm, whipworm, roundworm and schistosomiasis are among the world’s most widespread diseases, with roughly one in four people infected. School age children have the highest infection prevalence of any group. Although light worm infections are often asymptomatic, more intense infections can lead to lethargy, anemia, malnutrition and growth stunting. Treating worm infections also appears to strengthen children’s immunological response to other infections, potentially producing broader health benefits in regions with high tropical disease burdens.
Evidence has shown that treating children for worms - which affect an estimated 600 million school-aged children worldwide - improves school attendance, health, and long-term productivity. Oral deworming drugs are extremely effective at killing most varieties of worms with a single does, at a cost of a few pence. Rapid infection means that the drugs must be taken every 6 - 12 months to keep worm infections at bay.
Deworming treatment is not only highly effective and inexpensive, it is easy to administer through schools and can bring benefit to children years after treatment.
Among interventions that have been rigorously tested by randomised evaluations, school-based deworming is one of the most cost-effective means of increasing school attendance and improving health in areas where intestinal worms are endemic. It can also result in large gains in earnings and living standards years after children receive treatment.
Health Check-ups May 2021
On 20th May, 2021 Dr. Daniel Okal Busela and his nurse Joy visited Patmos School where they carried out a health check on 172 children. The children were checked for signs of malnutrition and for those children who were found to be suffering from minor ailments such as fungal infections, they were prescribed the necessary medication.
On the 21st May, 2021 Dr. Dan returned to Patmos School to administer deworming preparations and oral vitamin supplements to every child as well as to members of staff. This exercise took place in the school playground which is situated on the second floor of the new school building.
The two day exercise was well conducted and records of height and weight and other observations were taken for every child. Dr Dan did comment that the majority of the children were in good health and this was mainly attributed to the school feeding program which provides a daily breakfast and lunch for all the children and the general care and attention provided at the school by the school social workers.
To read about the healthcare program which was run in 2020 and 2019 click below:
The funds for this Healthcare Program are donated by two UK supporters.