People in COVID-19 quarantine facilities face a lot of stigma, and the pain of isolation is sometimes unbearable to the point that some of them even want to commit suicide.
They face hostility and also harsh living conditions at the facilities. Despite testing negative for COVID-19, they have not been allowed to go home.
A few recovered patients are now claiming that the government promised to pay their treatment bills but now they are being told that they have to pay their own bills.
They are stuck in the facility and they can’t leave till they clear the bill, the bill that the government said it will cater for. Mental illness such as stress and depression is experienced at this time of the pandemic.
Quarantine and isolation should not be a condemnation but part of the healing. It should therefore be as human as possible and respect the rights and dignity of those who are there.
It is indeed sad and unacceptable that people who deserve care and sympathy are exploited and frustrated to the point of thinking to end their lives. The government of Kenya should wake up and handle the COVID-19 pandemic with utmost care and transparency.
The pandemic is frustrating enough and we don’t want to rub pepper on the wound. This is very dangerous and we will continue losing more people out of depression rather than the disease itself.
The government must put in place psychologists to deal with mental issues affecting Kenyans in this quarantine facilities.
Despite all that people leaving the quarantine facilities after recovery, some claim that friends and family members now run away from them. They face hostility at home this causes stigma and many people suffer from stress.
This is a viral disease and we should show humanity. Provide adequate information about COVID-19 through multiple media platforms, keep contact with family members, and emphasize the measures that the Ministry of Health is putting in place.
Nthiana is a NAYA youth advocate