Psychosocial and Economic Vulnerability of Informal Women Caregivers of Sickle Cell Disease in Nairobi, Kenya
Kwena, Foulata Tabitha
Aluoch, Joash R.
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Informal women caregivers of sickle cell disease care for people with a life-threatening recessively inherited hemolytic blood condition with wide-ranging erratic and severe symptoms necessitating lifelong support. Care giving is neither quantified nor remunerated. Women take it on as their expected societal gender role. The objective was to investigate the psychosocial and economic vulnerability of informal women caregivers of sickle cell patients in Nairobi, Kenya. The theory of resilience in care giving guided the study. The conceptual proposition was that if all stakeholders intervened in their roles, caregiver’s vulnerability would diminish enabling resilience. The study was a cross-sectional survey using both qualitative and quantitative data. 56 caregivers were sampled from 510 women. Narratives were analyzed thematically. Care giving affects caregiver’s relationships in different spheres, finances and workload precipitating financial 98%, social 72%, psychological 26% and physical health 52% challenges. The study recommends support to caregivers, development of a sickle cell policy, awareness programs and support groups.