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Telemedicine Solutions for Key Populations Amid COVID-19

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Health writer | Editor | Public Health Researcher
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COVID-19 and Key Populations: How Telemedicine Can Help
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Paul Linus (not his real name), an HIV+ gay man living in Lagos, Nigeria, was relieved of his job shortly after the lockdown was eased. It’s been four weeks since he became jobless and Paul is gradually slipping into depression.
Of course, he wouldn’t be the first or only person to lose his job as a result of the pandemic. Millions of lives have been affected economically. Matter of fact, the job-loss wind is global, with millions of workers losing their jobs. The new normal, you may say.

But Paul’s case is a little different. As a result of his health condition, Paul goes to the hospital at regular intervals to consult his doctor. Since COVID-19, Paul is reluctant to visit the hospital for obvious reasons and since he already has an underlying medical condition (HIV), he feels it is safer to stay away from the war zone.

COVID-19 and Key Populations: How Telemedicine Can Help
Source: Pexels

The big question is, how then can Paul access quality healthcare without seemingly putting himself in harm’s way?

While we ponder over this, Kemi Daniels (not her real name), a drug addict in Abuja, is finding it difficult to access healthcare services for fear of discrimination and criminalization. As someone who injects drugs, Kemi often relies on drug peddlers from other states. As the borders remain closed because of the pandemic, there are drug shortages on the streets. Kemi now resorts to alcoholism and sharing intravenous injections with her friends, consequently making them prone to COVID-19 infection.

COVID-19 and Key Populations: How Telemedicine Can Help
Source: Pexels

Kemi will definitely appreciate remote counselling from a healthcare professional but going to the hospital is not the best option for her.

How best can Kemi receive professional help while maintaining her privacy and confidentiality?

These questions are significant because people like Paul and Kemi, being gay and drug addict respectively, form major parts of the key population who are hitherto still marginalized in mainstream Africa. They are also a part of the vulnerable groups in Nigeria.

In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, key population includes;

  • Men who sleep with men (MSM)
  • Sex workers
  • People who inject drugs
  • Transgender persons
  • People who identify as LGBTI

According to UNAIDS’ estimate, 62% of the new HIV infections are among the key populations. Since they have the highest burden of underlying health issues like HIV, they have an increased risk for severe illnesses from COVID-19.
Now that we are in the wake of a pandemic, the social vulnerability of members of the key population is on the increase.

While these set of people experience an increased tendency to contract diseases like HIV, they have decreased access to quality healthcare services during this period of COVID-19. This calls for concern as the reports of a survey carried out by UNAIDS (2020) reveal that the Coronavirus pandemic triples the vulnerability of persons who identify as ‘lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex’ (LGBTI).

While the government provides support to vulnerable groups like displaced persons, pregnant women, and children, key populations are often overlooked.

COVID-19 and Key Populations: How Telemedicine Can Help
Photo credit: Pexels

Could KompleteCare be a safe space for key populations in COVID-19?

KompleteCare, as a telemedicine platform, makes it possible for certified doctors to provide care to patients remotely via their smartphone or computer. What this implies is that patients can comfortably receive medical care from the comfort of their homes without necessarily paying an in-person visit to the hospital or to a doctor.

By extension, the KompleteCare platform is able to cater to the health needs of sex workers, men who sleep with men, others who identify as ‘lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex’ persons (LGBTI), and drug users who are mostly discriminated against. With the belief that every human being deserves equal access to healthcare, the platform is built for this sole purpose with features that guarantee privacy and confidentiality.

KompleteCare is the way to experience safe, quality, and non-discriminatory healthcare service.

Consult a Doctor Online today!

If you enjoyed reading this article, you will like to read more on the subject matter below:

Survey shows that the COVID-19 pandemic increases vulnerability of LGBTI people

Mitigating the impact of COVID-19 on key populations.

Medical Disclaimer: KompleteCare aims to improve the quality of life for everyone with fact-based content about the nature of diseases, preventive care, behavioral health conditions, treatment options, and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited, and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.

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Henry reply
July 30, 2020 - 6:23 am

This is nice

Jenny reply
August 7, 2020 - 1:47 pm

Is Nigeria really ready for LGBTI?

    Ginika Oluchi Okeke reply
    August 8, 2020 - 12:53 pm

    Good question.
    The truth is that we do not know if Nigeria is ready for it, but our point is that they too have a Right to access healthcare.

Jude Isaac Ugwummadu reply
August 12, 2020 - 10:38 am

Together we are stronger go on girl💪🏿

Oluwafemi Salami reply
August 12, 2020 - 10:47 am

I think I agree with the writer when she said “…everyone deserves equal access to medical health care” and this should come without any discrimination, although telemedicine may have its limitations it’s still a way to go as its total absence in a Pandemic such as the Covid 19 poses serious threat to the general wellbeing of the society ie the unwell and well will not be safe

    Ginika Oluchi Okeke reply
    August 12, 2020 - 11:01 am

    I strongly agree with you.

    Barr Anoh. reply
    August 16, 2020 - 9:28 pm

    I want to believe that the author of this article is inspired by God because the message is convincing. I suggest this article should be published world wide.

Flourish reply
August 12, 2020 - 10:47 am

such a precise article. Thank you.

    Harmony reply
    August 14, 2020 - 9:47 am

    Thanks for this
    In as much i never supported this LGBTI idea, but by right i believe no matter who is who, we all deserve equal right both medically and otherwise Nice one dear 👍🏻

Faith reply
August 12, 2020 - 10:48 am

Nice piece

Chisom Osuigwe reply
August 12, 2020 - 11:19 am

Despite our pronounced differences, it’ll be good for all to have access to good healthcare.

King David reply
August 12, 2020 - 11:29 am

Nice perspective.

Clergy reply
August 12, 2020 - 11:40 am

No matter the condition, every human deserves quality healthcare

August 12, 2020 - 11:40 am

Nice one

Nneamaka Okeke reply
August 12, 2020 - 11:59 am

Wow…this is well articulated. Kudos!

Nkem reply
August 12, 2020 - 2:00 pm

Yes… everyone should have access to good and ‘affordable’ healthcare despite their way of life. Nice!

Anna reply
August 12, 2020 - 2:13 pm

I believe everyone deserve equal access to healthcare no matter the person statue,background etc kudos to u, nice article

Gboyega A reply
August 12, 2020 - 3:03 pm

Thanks Ginika!
This is a very interesting article

Floorence Agha reply
August 12, 2020 - 3:21 pm

Nice article.
More Grace to you.

Freeman Korkara Kobo reply
August 12, 2020 - 3:33 pm

While frowning at those Sodom and Gomorrah who are enormously stupefied by the ominous freaky-deaky jocundity of the youthful exuberance christened, LGBTI, and conversely praying for their roads to Damascus as well as repentance to come in a moment too soon, it is also epedient to envisage issues threatening their existence. If this job is part of what KompleteCare does, as very lucidly described by this article, then both the writer and the blog deserve some applause.

    Ginika Oluchi Okeke reply
    August 12, 2020 - 6:34 pm

    Well, let us leave God to judge. Our duty on earth is to love one another. Great comment Mr. Freeman.

Johnson reply
August 12, 2020 - 4:18 pm

You are such a wonderful human being inside-out. Be proud of what you do, yes every human deserves a good quality healthcare. Nice insight.

Labake reply
August 12, 2020 - 4:51 pm

💪🏽 💪🏽💪🏽

Joftfem reply
August 13, 2020 - 7:22 am


Somtoo Dominic reply
August 14, 2020 - 6:07 am


Akoja Faith reply
August 14, 2020 - 10:08 am

The fact that our Societal norms frown at any lifestyle that deviates completely from that of the model set by our traditional African society, doesn’t make the queer and others… less human. Medical care should be given and accessible to everyone despite their shortcomings. Keep it up Ginika.

Chiamaka ogodinma reply
August 14, 2020 - 12:53 pm

I enjoyed reading this article as its informing,ducating and entertaining . I personally didn’t want to visit the clinic when I fell sick during this covid pandemic to avoid getting infected. However I concur with the writer as everyone has equal access to medical health care and therefore there should be no discrimination whatsoever.

Bishop reply
August 14, 2020 - 12:56 pm

A masterpiece…very helpful!

Eke kalu reply
August 29, 2020 - 7:03 pm

Quite interesting!
Kompletecare is bringing succor to the marginalized in the society.

July 5, 2023 - 8:34 pm

[…] consultation has helped a lot in social distancing, not only for the Covid-19 infection but for other disease conditions which could be gotten from contact with other patients […]

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Ginika Oluchi Okeke

Ginika is the Lead health writer at KompleteCare. She also doubles as an editor and proofreader for everything that concerns content. When she's not writing content for KompleteCare, you might find her copy-editing works for authors before publication.

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