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Stigma thwarting COVID-19 containment efforts in Kenya

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Stigmatization of people who have recovered from the deadly coronavirus is frustrating the efforts of the government in containing the spread of the disease.

For example, Emily Owino, who is a local health worker says she experiences stigmatization on a daily basis from where she lives due to the nature of her job. And this is usually the case for most people from poor neighbourhoods.

Some people who contract the virus now opt to seek for treatment with untrained traditional healers.

Emily said: “I am ill-equipped. However, we sometimes have to help the expectant women by using plastic bags as gloves. This enables me to try and help save lives,”.

With the low number of tests carried out when compared with the population, along with the shortage of Personal Protective Equipment dangerous stigma has sprung up across Africa as the number of confirmed cases moves close to 1 million.

Some humanitarian organizations caution that stigma could thwart Africa’s pandemic response.

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