Healthcare Program 2023
Under the Patmos Cottage School Healthcare Program, (SHP), on the 21st and 22nd March, 2023 the children received the first of their biannual health checks. Dr. Daniel Busela has been supporting the school for the past ten years and during that time 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.
On Monday 21st March, 2023 Dr. Dan, assisted by his nurse Carol, carried out examinations of all 220 children starting with the younger children in the play group and finishing with children in the Grade 8 class. Height and weight measurements were taken of the children and were recorded on their medical records. The doctor commented once again that the majority of the children were found to be in good health and he attributed this in no small part to the food the children were receiving under the School Feeding Program (SFP) which ensures that each child receives a breakfast and daily meal at the school. However, Dr. Dan noted that a total of 45 children were suffering from fungal infections.
On Tuesday 22nd March, 2023 Dr. Dan and his nurse returned to Patmos Cottage School where the children were administered multi vitamin supplements and deworming preparations. Those children who were suffering from fungal infections received the necessary treatment.
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.
Funding for these health checks is provided by a couple from the United Kingdom.
To read about the healthcare program which was run in 2022, 2021, 2020 and 2019 please click below: