Kenya: Fear of discrimination by potential employers, incl. the private sector, as mass testing for Covid-19 begins

Author: Edwin Waita & Jackson Njehia, Thomas Reuters Foundation , Published on: 28 May 2020

"Kenya rolls out testing in Nairobi slums, but some fear stigma"

Kenya is rolling out voluntary public testing for the novel coronavirus in its biggest slum, where some residents say being declared virus-free boosts their chances of getting a job. "Nowadays when you look for work, they first ask to see your results first," Shadrack Jumba, a resident of Kibera, located in Nairobi's southwest, told Reuters as health workers took samples from people on Tuesday. "They ask you to go back and get tested. If your results come back negative, you are fine, but with no test results, it's a bit difficult to get employed."...

Many Kibera residents are casual labourers, cleaners, market sellers and motorbike taxi drivers, who have lost work due to the COVID-19-linked restrictions in Kenya. Some are reluctant to be tested, fearing neighbours will shun them."People are fearful of ...the stigma of being found positive and you are labelled by the rest of the community," said Ahmed Kalebi, consultant pathologist and chief executive officer of Lancet Group of Laboratories, a pathology laboratory active in 11 other African countries.

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