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Io R-esisto in strada

The project, implemented alongside CCM – Comitato Collaborazione Medica, aims to mitigate the effects of the ongoing health crisis on the homeless population of Turin. This population is facing a moment of severe difficulties not being able to respect the rules of prevention and social isolation needed to defend themselves from the possibility of Coronavirus infection.

The goals of the project are:

  • Implementation of social and health outreach by providing counselling, health education and distributing over-the-counter drugs and hygienic kits to the homeless.
  • Set up of a telephone support service run by medical staff and aimed to workers of day and night shelter facilities, canteens, food and clothing distributors.

Over 2.000 people in disadvantaged conditions live a series of problems such as lack of housing, job loss and social isolation. From a health standpoint, many of them suffer from chronical diseases due to the living conditions on the streets, therefore due to lack of shelter, bad nutrtition, scarse opportunities for personal hygiene and their own health“.

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Activities at the Ruaraka Uhai Neema Hospital

In the hospital founded by World Friends to grant medical assistance to the most vulnerable population segments of Nairobi slums we are currently implementing:

  • Set up of an isolation wing for potential COVID cases.
  • Set up of a triage tent at the entrance of the hospital.
  • Training of the medical staff on prevention and treatment of the virus and sharing of protocols for emergency management.
  • Health information and education for all hospital visitors and distribution of personal protection devices.
  • Purchasing of equipment to face the emergency.

We are equipping in order to not run out of oxygen, so with some units with small oxygen concentrators. We mostly try to prevent, to talk, to perform health education. But here we are on the margins of huge shantytowns, so we need to reinvent something, surely not Western-like measures that here cannot work“.

Activities on the field

  • Follow up of Nairobi Nutritional Project interventions aimed at malnutrition reduction in order to enhance the health status of mothers and children in North-East Nairobi slums and making them less vulnerable to the risk of infection.
  • Awareness and prevention activities in Nairobi and Ngong.
  • Reasearch and survey activities on the impact and perception of the virus among project beneficiaries and partners on the territory.

Data are unreliable: the current situation is 208 positive cases, but it is nothing, because we do not really know how many tests were performed. It seems only 8 thousands on a population of 45 millions. We do not know. Moreover, a sense of fear and stigmatization are spreading at the same time, so there are probably many people with symptoms in the shantytowns who do not contact hospitals or just wait, fearing of being isolated or not being positive and mixed-up with those who are infected for real”.

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