Home COVID-19 The Risk of COVID-19 Among Key Population

The Risk of COVID-19 Among Key Population

by Ginika Oluchi Okeke
How Telemedicine Can Help Palliate the Impact of COVID-19 on Key Population in Nigeria.

Paul Linus (not his real name), a 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.


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 rely on drug peddlers from other states. As the boarders remain closed because of the pandemic, there are drug shortages on the streets. Kemi now resorts to alcoholism and sharing of intravenous injections with her friends, consequently making them prone to COVID-19 infection.


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


What’s the best way for Kemi to 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.

Photo credit: Pexels


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 key population. 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) reveals 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 population are often overlooked.

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 for 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.


Ginika Oluchi Okeke

Ginika is the Lead content 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. Reach Ginika at ginika.okeke@kompletecare.com

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27 comments

Henry July 30, 2020 - 6:23 am

This is nice

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Jenny August 7, 2020 - 1:47 pm

Is Nigeria really ready for LGBTI?

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Ginika Oluchi Okeke 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.

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

Together we are stronger go on girl💪🏿

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Oluwafemi Salami 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

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

I strongly agree with you.

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Flourish August 12, 2020 - 10:47 am

such a precise article. Thank you.

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Harmony 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 👍🏻

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Faith August 12, 2020 - 10:48 am

Nice piece

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Chisom Osuigwe August 12, 2020 - 11:19 am

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

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King David August 12, 2020 - 11:29 am

Nice perspective.

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Clergy August 12, 2020 - 11:40 am

No matter the condition, every human deserves quality healthcare

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RUTH IYEN August 12, 2020 - 11:40 am

Nice one

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Nneamaka Okeke August 12, 2020 - 11:59 am

Wow…this is well articulated. Kudos!

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Nkem August 12, 2020 - 2:00 pm

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

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Anna 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

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

Thanks Ginika!
This is a very interesting article

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Floorence Agha August 12, 2020 - 3:21 pm

Nice article.
More Grace to you.

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Freeman Korkara Kobo 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.

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Ginika Oluchi Okeke 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.

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Johnson 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.

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Labake August 12, 2020 - 4:51 pm

💪🏽 💪🏽💪🏽

Reply
Joftfem August 13, 2020 - 7:22 am

Insightful

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Somtoo Dominic August 14, 2020 - 6:07 am

Nice

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Akoja Faith 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.

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Chiamaka ogodinma 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.

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Bishop August 14, 2020 - 12:56 pm

A masterpiece…very helpful!

Reply