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Home / Nutrition and Wellness

Job losses exposed teens to hunger, unable to seek medical services

By NG'ENOH KIPKEMOI | Tue,Jul 13 2021 13:57:05 EAT

Many Kenyans who lost their jobs following the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic last year cannot provide for their families adequately.

For instance, between June and August 2020, 80 per cent of respondents in Nairobi, Kilifi and Wajir had experienced a complete or partial loss of income.

For this reason, almost three-quarters of adolescents missed meals regularly because parents or caregivers could not provide food. More girls (35 per cent) than boys (20 per cent) reported skipping a meal.

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‘‘Up to now, my parents cannot get money at all so unlike before we cannot eat what we used to. Sometimes, we end up eating little food since there is no money to buy a balanced diet,” says a government report.

However, 80 per cent of households (apart from 16 per cent in Wajir) still had a loss of income but the proportion reporting partial loss as compared to complete loss improved this year.

Over 50 per cent of those who took part in the survey cited the cost of health services as the main reason they didn't seek medical services as well as the fear of contracting Covid-19.

In February, the number of adolescents skipping healthcare services increased, especially in Kilifi and Kisumu counties with cost being the leading barrier. 

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