Introduction No current available data could be found on the health needs of this remote population of semi nomadic Masaai tribes people living in villages in the Kajiado District. Efforts are being made nationally to gather health statistics to help work towards Global Development Goals in diminishing health inequality and poverty.1 Such information is useful in planning the provision of staff and treatments for short and longer term clinics.
A team including five British trained doctors visited Kirkuria, a village in the region with the support of local staff. A two day free health clinic was set up and local people were informed by radio and the churches. The nearest hospital was 17 km. No laboratory investigations or radiology was available so diagnoses were by clinical history and examination. Information was documented at each consultation. The prevalence of acute and chronic respiratory conditions was then determined.
Results Total patients seen 409, Adults 240 (58%), Female 273 (66%)
Respiratory presenting complaint 108 (26%)
Respiratory presentations in children: n=169, cough=41 (24% of children), cough and fever=6 (3%), likely asthma=6 (3%), upper respiratory tract infection=7 (4%), chronic cough=2 (1%)
Other complaints Likely pleural effusion=1, difficulty breathing/short of breath=3, chest pain after pneumonia=1
Chronic cough included a case of possible tuberculosis, a case of recent typhoid and post infective bronchiectasis.
Conclusions The data is affected by the time of year and climate (drought). Clinics were held in two other villages but the data is comparable. The study was limited in that formal diagnoses could not be made but non respiratory cough such as reflux was coded separately and the study design was reproducible and practical in this setting.
There is a significant burden of respiratory disease in this rural Masaai population including chronic conditions. These findings are important because they represent treatable conditions which if left impair quality of life. Children can lose time from school and infectious disease can spread through the community. The Masaai people are poorly served by health care and such data can target appropriate resources.
Kenya Health Data Collaborative.
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