PRECAUTIONARY MEASURES TO MITIGATE THE SPREAD OF CORONA VIRUS DISEASE (COVID-19)
March 23, 2020
In January 2020 the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak of a new coronavirus disease that started in China and now spread to almost the entire globe.
The epidemic is now in Uganda and I wish to refer you to the mitigation measures for Corona Virus by His Excellency the President of the Republic of Uganda’s Executive Addresses to the nation on 18thand 22nd March 20202, and the several and repeated guidance from the Ministry of Health.
As HUYSLINCI, we have taken the following actions:
The above precautions come into force from this 23rd day of March, 2020.
Wishing you utmost health, happiness and success!
Uganda confirmed its first case of COVID-19 on Saturday 21st March 2019. The President has made 4 national press appearances (18th, 21st, 22nd and 25th March) to talk about the epidemic and gradually instituting measures to prevent its spread. Currently, 33 cases have been confirmed to have COVID-19.
Some of the measures include: the closure of all educational institutions, the closure of all public gatherings including religious, political and cultural ones, restriction of visitors from other countries, the closure of shops and markets selling non-food items, regulation of events like funerals, the stop on any form of public transport and the directive that other cars carry no more than 2 passengers, the closure of some of government offices and for the operating ones to slim staff to the most vital. All employers across the country were asked to do the same.
On March 28th, the president promised to come up with additional measures in the nearest future on top of the ministry of health guidelines including but not limited to maintaining the social distance, frequent washing of hands, covering on mouth and nose, etc.
All those have brought most of our field related activities to a halt and these (field activities) make the biggest part of our programming.
Our communities too are paralyzed as most of our caregivers are wage earners, casual labourers, and earning livelihood for everyday worked. With restrictions on public transport and the worrying spread of COVID-19, our staff was trimmed, let some to stay and work from home while a few strategic team remained in office.
Most community cries are around the limited food supplies and those available are extremely expensive. Government had promised to intervene in regards to regulating the prices of utility and food commodities but nothing has so far happened.
Priority has been with information dissemination about COVID-19 and we are happy to be a part of the Wakiso District and Katabi Town Council task force on information dissemination, monitoring and reporting on the epidemic. We have also replaced our program interactive conversations with adolescents with virtual/online posts but unfortunately, a few of them have access to smart phones. Social distancing and isolation limits our reach but we remain abiding servants.
Due to the temporary closure of schools, we continue to make appeals to heads of schools and parents to encourage children to make use of the TV classes not to lose track on their studies.
HUYSLINCI is also devising ways to address the much anxiety, worries and uncertainty about COVID-19 among our communities and the public and we are in discussions with local leaders and other actors to make use of the community communication apparatuses (local radios) where medics can speak to the common person but such medics need to be facilitated in some way as well as paying for the airtime to the radio owners. We have not secured partners in this, so far.
We launched a so far modest campaign to all residents for those able to help the unable ones with food stuffs, soap, etc. as a mitigation approach to the spread of the virus as well as violence that can come as a result of hunger. So far politicians have come up to support although in still small ways.
We are also lobbying our local leaders to push government to intervene in the matter of the increasing prices for necessity items during this period like detergents and food stuffs.
We are exploring engagement into activities that address hand washing especially at household level and community access points like markets because the challenge is still mega.
As COVID-19 continues to spread, the future has never felt so unpredictable. These are challenging times for us all, and we hope you’re in good spirits and health!
Right now, we’re doing everything possible to sustain daily operations and provide services to our community.
While there’s a lot of uncertainty, we know that we need to adapt fast to our changing reality.
Now, more than ever, our community needs us. And we need you.
If you’re able, please make a donation towards our USD 220,000 challenge to feed over 37,000 families whose worry now is on survival- who are not sure of their next meal.
If you’re unable to donate at this time, there are many other ways you can support us! You can support the medics in our area referral hospital with protective gear, facilitate counselors to rehabilitate the patients of COVID-19, their families and communities, support the dissemination of information about the pandemic, and so much more.
You can also advocate for us by sharing our mission with a family member or friend or acquaintance. Even a quick mention on your social media would mean the world to us.
In times like this, we’re reminded of how interconnected we all are.
Thank you for being part of our community. Without you, none of it is possible.
Stay safe and well.