Healthcare Programme November 2019
On the 27th and 28th November, 2019 all 133 children at Patmos School attended at the clinic of Dr Daniel Okal Busela in Mathare where they each received a health check-up as well as oral vitamin supplements and deworming preparations. Dr Daniel was assisted during this two day event by his nurse Carolyne.
Dr Daniel diagnosed 15 children with medical ailments ranging from malaria, upper respiratory tract infections and fungal conditions. These children were examined and given the necessary treatment. The doctor remarked that the remainder of the children were found to be in reasonable health.
Under the School Feeding Programme all children at Patmos School receive a breakfast of porridge and a daily meal of maize and beans.
Dr Dan has been supporting the school for the past six years and under the School Health Programme (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 randomized 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.
The funds for this Healthcare Programme are donated by two UK supporters.