Nairobi Slums TB Project
Country of Operation
- Malteser InternationalNot-for-profit
- The Kenya Ministry of HealthGovernment
- Nairolbi Health Medical Board (NHMB)Government
Target income level
- Bottom 20%
SummaryNairobi Slums TB Project was started to bring TB testing facilities closer to the people in the slums of Nairobi. The overall objective of the project is to enhance prevention and care of tuberculosis through intensified case finding in the communities, through community health workers.
When Malteser International started the project there were only two places to be tested for TB in Nairobi - Kenyatta Hospital and Kemri. Both were in the centre of Nairobi and the test for TB being a sputum sample taken on three consecutive mornings, it was inaccessible to most with TB, as they could not afford the transport or the time off work. Therefore it appeared from the records that TB had almost disappeared from Kenya. It also took up to one month for the results to be given.
Key program components
Having identified 10 MOH Health Clinics spread across all areas of Nairobi, Malteser International equipped each one with a laboratory and testing centre for TB, so that there can be immediate diagnosis and treatment can begin within 24 hours. Malteser International has a team of 60 volunteer Community Health Workers, who all live in the slum communities in which they work. They are not paid, but are given small incentives such as lunch and transport money. When the TB patients are too ill to get out of bed and attend the clinics the CHWs care for them at home. All the 48 CHWs were issued with safari boots that they wear while carrying out community activities. For visibility and identification in the communities all 48 CHWs were bought polo shirts and back packs containing first aid kits. So far 723 smear positive TB contacts have been traced and screened for TB and 10% are smear positive. Also, to date CHWs have referred and linked 800 of the TB patients with other partners to assist them with additional needs.
The project has been extremely successful and the government has awarded it on two separate occasions and also adopted the Malteser International model for CHWs and are using it for their own clinics and projects.