For so many of us coronavirus has brought the need to adapt and, in many circumstances, change our regular routines or ways of life. Lockdown and self-isolation have brought a number of hardships either financial or social. These circumstances are being replicated around the World.
The impact of the virus and the impact of lockdown is affecting our colleagues in Asia and Africa and we know from speaking to our projects on the ground that the most vulnerable in the world are being hit hardest by COVID-19.
Unfortunately, they don’t have the safety nets in place that we do in Northern Ireland.
Karima is a person affected by leprosy from Nigeria. She has been learning to live amidst the lockdown caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. She said:
“No one is telling us anything. Except for our Officer from The Leprosy Mission Nigeria who came a few times to come tell us what this disease is all about and how to guard against it. She stressed washing of hands always with soap and covering of our mouth when sneezing and coughing.”
“We also need self-care materials so we can continue to practice self-care in our homes to avoid degeneration of our ulcers and thus visits to hospitals.”
Lockdown is also affecting Karima’s ability to earn money. Previously she would have traded at markets but these are now closed.
A similar situation is faced by Mallama. She lives near Abuja in Nigeria and is finding it difficult to feed her family:
“I am worried that we may all die of hunger and starvation if something is not done urgently. We also hear that Covid-19 is transmitted through the air, but we do not have face masks or hand sanitiser. We don't have enough money to buy food, never mind anti-bacterial soap!”
At The Leprosy Mission Northern Ireland, we are working hard to ensure that vital funds are getting to our front ine teams to provide advice and critical supplies to those who need them most.
Please help us to support Karima and Mallama.