We are so grateful for your support even in these difficult times, and for the incredible work of our partners, so we wanted to give you a little update on how each of them are doing amidst the COVID-19 crisis as it grows in Africa. Here’s a glimpse into what you’re fueling through your selfless generosity:
While there has been an increase in cases of coronavirus in Ethiopia, DOW has been working on the front end to make sure that their constituents have the resources they need to stay healthy as best as they can. The government is pushing people who have been traveling to come back home. In the region of Tigray, where DOW operates, they are on lockdown although most cases of coronavirus are in the capital city of the country.
As a team, they are working on finding their new normal while observing the necessary changes to adapt. Their biggest change has been enforcing social distancing and continuing to spread information about the virus to people who would otherwise be unaware of this new danger.
Since they have begun educating and informing the community, DOW has been impressed with how quickly community members have caught on to the protocols. Fortunately, they should have no issue continuing services through the year, but they plan on adjusting their agenda and priorities especially when the rainy season slows down their physical work.
As we talked about in our last update on LCA, they are still involved in the Ministry of Health in Kenya, creating national guidelines for the country to observe. With a handful of other organizations they wrote a memo to the Senate which LCA’s Executive Director, Julius Mbeya, was able to present in person.
The memo included what should be defined as essential services, training curriculum for community health workers, and social distancing requirements. The country is also increasing its testing, enabling it to better understand the situation they are actually facing and how to combat it.
Things at the facility in North Kamagambo haven’t changed all that much since they started adapting for COVID-19. They are still delivering 3-6 months worth of HIV medication to patients at home to reduce traffic at the clinic, training community health workers, and heightening availability and education about hygiene.
LCA’s hospital is still testing and ensuring social distancing measures and trying to make sure that all workers at least have access to adequate PPE.
LCA has been a leader for our partners in shifting to their new normal to “free up resources and respond” so that they can keep as many people at work helping the cause as possible. They do not estimate “normal operations” to return earlier than August, but they have no doubt that they will be able to adapt with time as they continue to plan strategically for the future.
LCA’s leadership has also graciously offered support for our other partners, saying that as healthcare organizations, they are the leaders in these difficult times, and their work will make a difference for everyone.
Like the previous countries, Uganda is experiencing an increase in cases of coronavirus. So far, our partners know of 2 cases in the communities that they serve.
However, since the government has reevaluated essential services they have lifted restrictions on construction and hardware shops with some social distancing guidelines and masks.
This means that PaCT can continue its construction of water points, and that more people will have access to sanitation and hygiene facilities!
PaCT staff are working from home or walking to the office if they live close enough, and that is the plan for at least the next 3 months. Geoffrey has been especially grateful for the support he’s received from his fellow leaders, but he also offered advice for others to make sure they’re able to keep in contact with ALL staff throughout this difficult time so that they can receive help if they need it.
For more information about how PaCT is pivoting in light of the changes from the coronavirus, see our blog from April 24.
Malawi has not had an abundance of cases of coronavirus thus far, however they are spread throughout the country. PIH is working hard to make sure that information about the virus and how to stop it is spread to clients in rural communities who may not have access to newspapers or radio. They are also trying to ensure that there are adequate handwashing facilities in public places, and thanks to all of you, they have enough PPE for staff for at least the next month.
They are working on adapting their organizational strategy given how fast the situation has changed and how much prices for PPE and food have increased.
All revenue from their private clinic is now being routed to their free clinic, and they are trying to figure out a way to test more people at their facilities while maintaining the community’s belief in its safety and working with a smaller staff than usual.
Despite all of these challenges, they are determined to keep asking questions and learning how to better serve as many people as possible.