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Doctor from Kursk saves people from African slums, risking their lives

An epidemiologist from Kursk Kirill Kuznetsov free of charge treats the residents of Kenya. For the first time in Africa it was eight years ago. Since returned there again and again to provide medical assistance to the needy. Kuznetsov himself has repeatedly hurt that heals others. In the "service record" — malaria, typhoid, brucellosis. However, such costs profession did not frighten you. The inhabitants of the African slums of the Kursk, the doctor replaces an ambulance: patients do not rebound either by day or by night.

Kirill Kuznetsov, 32 years old, he works in the small Kenyan town of Kitale, on the border with Uganda. "Now I'm in the middle of the desert of Turkana, in the seven-hour drive from Kitale. With the appearance of a large village by local standards — city. Try a couple of times a month to get out to remote areas where people are about doctors at all did not hear, — says Kirill. — I'm not here alone, with a friend — he is from the Ukraine, but long settled in Africa. We do not simply treat people — even teach the basic rules of hygiene. And the main task — to local able to host a clinic".

In Africa, he came in 2012, when he graduated from medical school: invited to participate in international humanitarian program. "I applied for the internship. Planning to work in Russia and Africa to visit on vacation. But I understood that short visits do not get off. The people there live in total poverty, really there is no access to free medicine, all for the money. Where did they take them? Almost 40 percent of the population in slums. Income per day for the whole family and a half — three dollars and got a doctor's appointment from two to ten (excluding tests and medications). The quality of medical care, to put it mildly, leaves much to be desired: those who are called doctors, — by Russian standards, medical assistants average. People are massively dying from diseases that nowadays are treated without any problems".

The current trip to Africa — the tenth in a row. In Kenya Cyril is from November of last year. With him, the wife and two small children. "All this time I officially worked only one orthopedic company. The Director was not opposed to my visits, were released for three months. This time I wanted to stay longer, so I quit. Actually earned anything from decoration to baby massage".

Kuznetsovs live with other volunteers in a rented house two blocks from the slums. The medical care team is not limited. The volunteers have opened a school with about 150 people from very poor families, as well as a rehabilitation center for children and adolescents.

Kirill working day starts at nine in the morning. It takes patients in the infirmary, a school. "First, examine the child who was cut, who coughs. If you suspect an infection, sent for examination, and then prescribe treatment." Come and parents, and then "everyone else".

The doctor then travels to a rehabilitation center. "The children here are treated worse than livestock. Why so many homeless people. Survive as they can: work part-time or simply steal. A early fall into chemical dependency. Every day there are new children, up to ten people. Beaten, with cuts, with brittle. I take care of them, and then connect social workers, psychologists try to return to the family," explains Cyril.

In the second half of the day — bypass patients home. "Usually make the dressing, put a dropper, injections, suture wounds, treat burns. Of course, there are emergency cases: I'm here, instead of ambulance can be called at any time".

Previously had their own mini-operating — together with volunteers from other countries rented a room in a local clinic. There Cyril spent neprostye operation. Now this is not possible. "When his forces fail, sending people to the hospital, accompany him. He remained somewhere outside the gates. There is such a thing — "Muzungu price", that is "a special price for a white man". If you see that the patient goes from white, to drastically inflate the price and add unnecessary services."

Just the day Kuznetsov inspects about 50 patients. And after seven in the evening do not leave home without urgent need. "The sun is setting. "White" in a dark time of the day to move one fraught. The situation of the crime. Of course, if something urgent, sit on the bike and go".

In remote areas Cyril tries to visit regularly. So, the Turkana desert dwellers he visits in 2013. Since then, the doctor said, the situation has improved as people began to understand the principles of hygiene. "And that, if to consider, what their condition, can save lives."

The majority of Kenyans suffers from malaria, tuberculosis, HIV and typhoid fever. "In Kitale — the old hut. At night is cold enough. Mattresses and especially bed is not all. Sleep on some rags. Therefore, many suffer from respiratory diseases — says an epidemiologist. — With regard to malaria and typhoid due to lack of medicines people are constantly on the verge of life and death. Worth a shot as they come alive before our eyes."

Kuznetsov and myself have been sick with the thing that heals. "Only for this trip I thrice suffered malaria. And how many times in all the time won't even remember". Infection enters through mosquito bites, long immunity to it is not produced. In addition, Cyril picked up one typhoid — tried local treats. Has not bypassed it and brucellosis on: "veterinary control of everything is very bad. More than half of the animals infected. Meat only chicken safely".

But infections are not limited. In addition, the Kursk, the doctor works with victims of domestic violence. "In my practice there were several cases where husbands shot wives head with a piece of rebar. If a woman comes to the police, just laugh over it. Not the best to them there attitude".

Kuznetsov says that in recent months has increased dramatically the flow of patients complaining of cough and pain in the lungs. Coronavirus has reached Kenya. However, the mortality rate is not particularly affected. According to official data, the country has about two thousand cases COVID-19.

"This is a population of over 40 million. I don't trust such statistics. In fact many simply not possible to go to the hospital. It remains only to die at home. So to get real numbers is difficult."

Since Kenya imposed a curfew from seven in the evening until five in the morning to leave for an emergency call to the doctor is no way. "Part of the operation switched to remote mode — advice on the phone, send medicine to the patient through family members." To appear on the street during curfew hours is fraught with consequences: at best, get hit with a truncheon by police.

Despite the strict measures, to move around the country is not banned. "To the desert they arrived without any problems. If you had stopped at every checkpoint and something extorted, but now when I see "white", stay away and once again not close. I think we'll infect".

On a question, whether terribly to work with potentially infectious COVID-19, without even a basic Sizov, the doctor shrugs: "I Want to help people — don't be afraid to take risks." But the risk here and enough to the pandemic.