New country report: the COVID-19 Long-Term Care situation in Kenya

Christine Musyimi1, Elizabeth Mutunga2 and David Ndetei1,3

1Africa Mental Health Research and Training Foundation
2 Alzheimer’s and Dementia Organization ,Kenya
3 University of Nairobi, Kenya

Key findings:

  • Government restriction measures have detrimental effects on the mental health and socio-economic aspects of individuals, carers, families and the society
  • Vulnerable populations such as older persons, those with disabilities and living in poverty situations require special attention to reduce spread of infection and improve their mental wellbeing
  • Long-term care (LTC) policies need to be developed to address the needs of older persons and those in need of LTC services
  • Addressing COVID-19 related stigma even after recovery could enhance proper reporting  and provide an opportunity for the government to address difficulties in dealing with the outbreak
  • LTC resource allocation e.g. funding and care workers during COVID-19 pandemic and beyond could reduce the impact of long-term conditions in communities
  • While the Older Persons Cash Transfer (OPCT) is targeted for those aged 65 years and above, more focus should also be on unpaid carers who mainly provide LTC in Kenya (with no training or experience)
  • Older persons are at a greater risk of having their human rights violated because they are a vulnerable population in terms of the probability of becoming dependent
  • There is a need for policy makers and decision makers to prioritize the needs of front-line health care providers and provide the necessary support systems at work and home with the aim to improve their wellbeing and increase productivity.

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