Patmos School Healthcare Progam 2020
On the 13th August, 2020 a total of 152 children from Patmos School were seen by Dr Daniel Okal Busela in the hall of the temporary school building where they each received a health check as well as oral vitamin supplements and deworming preparations. Dr Daniel who was assisted by his nurse Carolyne, diagnosed 36 children with fungal infections and those children were given treatment for those conditions.
Dr Dan has been supporting the school for the past six 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. However this year, because of the school closure in March and the covid-19 restrictions, it has only now been possible to carry out these health checks.
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.
To read about the healthcare program which was run in 2019 click below:
The funds for this Healthcare Program are donated by two UK supporters.