More than 8 out of 10 people experiencing homelessness reported having a chronic health condition. This data underlines the fact that homeless people face healthcare issues. Indeed, they often live in insalubrious places and their living conditions may engender health problems. Sometimes, because of those hard living conditions, they may even fall into addiction. The lack of money may prevent them from being treated. Moreover, being able to eat or to wear hot clothes may be considered more important.
Here are some factors that engender health issues. First, the fact that homeless people do not heal their diseases may cause them to worsen. Secondly, not getting enough food is a factor that engenders various diseases. Lastly, the exposure to extreme weather is the cause of various health problems such has chilblain, lung disease or dehydration.
This article will focus on wound infections. Indeed, diseases are due to the difficulty of having proper hygiene while living on the street. Therefore, when someone is hurt and has an open wound, it has more chances to be infected. The problem is that some untreated infections can become more severe and require medical intervention. Moreover, severe infection leads to significant pain and discomfort.
A way to reduce the likelihood of such infections is to clean open wounds quickly to prevent the proliferation of bacteria.
Therefore, to try to fight again this issue there is an association called Mobil’Douche in France. The principle of this association is that a truck drives through Paris and allows homeless people to take a shower in it. Anyone can volunteer or donate to this association.
Another solution is to offer kits in which we can find disinfectant, dressing, compress and antibacterial wipes. As hygiene is important, it might be a good idea to put soap, shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrushes, washcloths and facial wipes as well.
Various associations offer already prepared kits. For instance, you can donate to GSCF and they will give the kits to people in need. The association OLATANEA sells various kits on its website. You can purchase one or several kits and the association then distributes them.
Finally, other initiatives exist. St John Ambulance offers free first aid training to homeless people. The British Red Cross is offering training to organisations or associations that help vulnerable people. Those training can be really useful as it allows us to learn how to react and treat injuries such as how to treat basic wounds.
To conclude, homeless people suffer from various disease. However, there are various means that exists for you to act.