In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, Persons Living with Non-Communicable Diseases (PLWNCDs) have been faced with a number of challenges in Kenya. Some of the public and private health facilities discontinued certain services, stock-out of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) medicines in hospitals and pharmacies, government directive on lock-down in major cities made it hard to access essential NCD health services such as dialysis and chemotherapy, food stock-out and high pricing witnessed, loss of livelihood for caregivers, and reduced psychosocial support which were received from support groups and care-givers among other problems. Non-communicable Diseases Alliance Kenya (NCDAK) and its members have found it difficult to resolve some of the mentioned challenges due to inadequate information of PLWNCDs on their location and their individual practical needs. A number of meetings have been held by the PLWNCDs caucus formed by NCDAK, with Ministry of Health through NCD COVID-19 Community Subcommittee and with other like-minded stakeholders to identify practical solutions to address the needs of PLWNCDs during the Covid-19 pandemic. However, it remained difficult to demonstrate the number of PLWNCDs, where they are and their needs. The government and stakeholders who are providing social security and medical services have not been able to effectively reach the PLWNCDs too.
NCDAK in through the support of the Danish NCD Alliance (DNCDA) decided to undertake a mapping exercise of the PLWNCDs among NCDAK membership/network. Stowelink was among the selected member organizations to conduct the mapping exercise with their network. Stowelink worked with Community based organization (Njathaini INFO4FOOD CBO) in Zimmerman ward to map out persons living with non-communicable disease. The exercise was conducted in two weeks and within this time, 121 persons living with various NCDs were mapped and their details entered into the data collection tool provided by NCDAK. This mapping exercise will help in making a case for influencing equitable access to medical and social security services, building resilient and responsive health systems, and inclusion of NCDs in both County and National level even beyond the Covid-19.
At the end of two weeks, the mapping exercise yielded 121 persons living with NCDs. With this data we are hoping the Njathaini Community and the National NCDS community will receive the support and care that they deserve.
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