By PETER KOMBE
Mombasa Women Empowerment Network, a Mombasa based lobby group has appealed to government to give first-hand priority to the mentally retarded people during the COVID 19 period.
Speaking to the media in Mombasa over the weekend during the launch of a COVID 19 centre for the mentally challenged the network chairperson Amina Abdalla said the persons are vulnerable and at a high risk of contracting the pandemic.
She expressed concern on their daily lifestyle adding that if not taken care of they may pose a threat to the society.
“Most of them reside and get their meals in the streets. We have launched this centre so that they can be tested for COVID 19. If found positive they will be treated for free,” she noted.
According to the activist the victims will receive free medical care from health practitioners in the department of health in Mombasa County.
On Monday 11, the NGO conducted a swoop in the Old Town and seized a total of 10 mentally retarded victims.
“We have seized 4 women and 8 men. Do not panic if you do not know where your relative is. Come and meet us,” she said.
She called on Mombasa residents to join hands in ensuring the safety of the victims.
“We have partnered with the county government of Mombasa to ensure that they remain safe from the corona pandemic,” she said.
Speaking during the launch at the Kenya Coast National Polytechnic , Likoni legislator Mishi Mboko said there is need for parliament to enact a legislation to cushion in the mentally retarded victims.
“There are so many people suffering from depression. As parliament we shall ensure that government cushions them in their planning,” she noted.
Meanwhile, Selina Githinji a health practitioner in charge of advisory department in Mombasa County said the mentally challenged will be classified according to the degree of their mental illnesses.
She notes that the free medical check up will be undertaken by specialised medical personnel.
“We have already noted that one of the 10 victims has a temperature above the normal. But we shall give a full report once their COVID-19 samples are taken and tested on Tuesday.