COMMUNITY HEALTH WORKERS
On 12th September 2011 there was a terrible fire in the Sinai village of Mukuru slum in Nairobi. This is one of the areas where we operate a TB and HIV project and we have 6 Community Health Workers there. The fire started when an oil pipeline exploded. Although Kenyan law states that no dwelling should be built within 55 feet of an oil pipeline many of the makeshift homes were built directly on top of it causing deaths to over 100 people, with many more losing their homes.
One of those affected was Alex Ngana, one of the team of Community Health Workers assisting in that slum. Alex is a single father of 5 children. The youngest of his children is Barbara, aged 10. When Barbara was aged 3 she had meningitis, which left her partially paralysed down the right hand side. This has resulted in reduced ability in walking and speech. The day the fire broke out Alex had left Barbara in the house whilst he went to buy her school uniform and stationary for the start of school the following day. When he returned to the house and found it burned to the ground he feared the worst. However, some neighbours had rescued Barbara and told her to ‘run away’ to escape the spreading flames.
After 6 terrifying hours Alex and Barbara were reunited, but they were left homeless and none of their household possessions had been saved. Two generous donors responded to our appeal for help for Alex and his family and with the money we were able to buy many items such as mosquito nets, charcoal stove, beds, mattresses, bedding, towels, bowls, saucepans, shoes, glasses, plates, water containers. They were overjoyed with the gifts and it was a very special occasion to see father and daughter beaming from ear to ear after all the difficulties they have been through.