ICAP Provides Medical Services to Kenyans Displaced by Political Unrest

In response to the need for medical care for people displaced by political unrest in Kenya, the International Center for AIDS Care and Treatment Programs (ICAP) of the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health held a mobile medical clinic on Jan. 18 at the Police Lines near Mathare slum in Nairobi.

More than 200 people whose homes had been burned or destroyed during the unrest received basic medical care at the clinic. This included providing care for respiratory infections and referring several people for suspected tuberculosis. ICAP staff also provided counseling for those needing to speak with someone about their experiences.

“ICAP is heartened to be able to provide medical services and support to the people of Kenya whose lives have been affected by the unrest,” said ICAP Director Wafaa El-Sadr, MD.

ICAP-Kenya Country Director Mark Hawken added that ICAP staff will continue to reach out to Kenyans during this difficult period and to offer whatever support they are able to provide as health professionals. “We are also working closely with the healthcare sites that we support to ensure that all patients continue to have access to HIV services and anti-HIV medicines,” he said.

Mathare, a poverty-stricken area of Nairobi, has been heavily affected by violence that ensued following December’s disputed presidential election. The unrest has resulted in the deaths of more than 600 people and the displacement of an estimated 250,000 individuals in the country.

In Kenya, ICAP supports 35 healthcare facilities providing HIV care to more than 24,000 people, including antiretroviral therapy to more than 9,300 people. These facilities are located in Central and Eastern Provinces and include both district hospitals and health centers.

Photo caption: Dr. Eliud Mwangi, a program officer for ICAP Kenya, consoles a child at the Mathare medical camp.