Almost half of residents in Kibera slums in Nairobi, Kenya, have already been infected with Covid 19, reports US and Kenya scientists.
The scientists had tested specimen from 523 individuals in 175 households from the slums and found 43 per cent positive for Covid 19 antibodies.
“Close to half of the individuals had an infection to SARS-CoV-2 after eight months of the Covid 19 pandemic in Kenya,” says the study.
This, the team says highlights the importance to prioritize mitigation measures, including Covid 19 vaccination, in such crowded poor settings.
The study posted on Thursday (26th August 2021) on F1000 Research for review was done by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Washington State University and Kenya Medical Research Institute.
The high positivity, the study says confirms the daily counts by the Ministry of Health are a gross under reporting. This is because they don’t capture asymptomatic and mild cases of Covid 19.
The study also confirms that poor and overcrowded areas, such as slums, may carry the highest burden of the disease.
This is blamed on overcrowding, water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) infrastructure constraints, and poverty that make adoption of prevention measures difficult.
Of the sampled households, 122, about 70 percent, had at least one seropositive individual.
Positivity increased with age, with the lowest recorded in children under five years and highest in adults aged from 46 years.
Participants from large households, more than five persons, had increased odds of being seropositive. There was no difference in positivity between male or females.
Kibera is the largest urban, informal settlement in Nairobi, with about 250,000 residents living within an area of 2.5 square kilometers in southwest Nairobi.
By Gatonye Gathura