The Kenya Red Cross had been looking for mother-of-seven Anisa Ibrahim for six months before they tracked her down. She was living 20km from where she had been staying in the Ifo sector of the Dadaab refugee camp complex.
Dadaab, the largest refugee camp complex in the world, houses 460,000 refugees. More than 90 per cent of the residents are escaping conflict in nearby Somalia. The Red Cross works in the Ifo sector of the camp providing medical aid, food, water and sanitation, hygiene promotion, and psycho-social care.
An untreated illness
The Red Cross was first made aware of Anisa by Médecins Sans Frontières, after she tested positive for tuberculosis. They had recommended she be admitted to hospital, but she had been avoiding the clinic since. Anisa was not taking her medicine regularly either.
Shortly after her appointment at the clinic, Anisa went missing. She left her youngest son, who was very ill, in the care of her eldest daughter – still a child herself. The team made extensive efforts to track her down, knowing that she was in need of immediate medical care.
Their determination was rewarded when they discovered Anisa was in Dagahaley, near to where her brother lives. Anisa was persuaded to return so that they could monitor her condition more closely.
Now, the Red Cross staff visit Anisa’s family on an almost daily basis, to give them medication and encouragement. Thanks to this support, her son’s condition has greatly improved. The medical team have also referred Anisa to the social services team and she has received a mattress, a kitchen set, a blanket and some money.