Medicine Distribution to Health Centers in Sierra Leone
“While so much about the virus and how it operates remains unclear, sub-Saharan Africa so far has dodged a deadly wave of coronavirus cases.” — The Washington Post, September 22, 2020
While that may be true in terms of confirmed cases and deaths, the impact of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic is being felt throughout sub-Saharan Africa as many low- and now no-income Africans are struggling to just get enough to eat.
In countries such as Zambia and Zimbabwe, our partners the Kabawta Orphanage and Transit Centre and the Lerato Children’s Village respectively, are relying on an additional grant funding from Bread and Water for Africa® to purchase food for the orphaned and destitute children in their care in the face of rampant inflation where the prices of basic foodstuffs are increasing on a daily basis.
In Sierra Leone, where thankfully as of September 23, there have been just 72 coronavirus-related deaths, Bread and Water for Africa® and our partner there, Rural Youth Development Organization – Sierra Leone (RYDO-SL), have been working hand-in-hand to prevent the spread of the deadly virus.
This summer, RYDO-SL program manager Joseph Ngoniyela Kobba, turned to Bread and Water for Africa® with an urgent plea for assistance in providing materials and supplies to make reusable face masks.
“The use of face masks by the target communities to impede COVID-19 transmission will limit the contact of infected individuals via physical distancing and contact tracing with appropriate quarantine and secondly reduce the transmission probability per contact by wearing face masks in public among other measures,” said Joseph.
“The decreased transmission will reduce the death rate and economic impact, while the cost of locally-made face masks is low.”
Throughout the sub-Saharan African countries where we work, the numbers of deaths and confirmed cases is just a very small percentage of the millions of cases and more than 200,000 deaths we have experienced here in the United States, the total number of deaths in those countries is reaching 3,000 according to the World Health Organization with: Cameroon – 416 deaths, 20,598 confirmed cases, with a population of 18.8 million; Chad – 81, 1,153, 10.3 million; Ethiopia – 1,108, 69,709, 85.2 million; Kenya – 650, 37,079, 39 million; Sierra Leone – 72, 2168, 6.1 million; Uganda – 63, 6,468, 32.3 million; Zambia – 331, 14,175, 11.8 million; and Zimbabwe – 225, 7,683, 11.3 million.
In addition, this year we have provided hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of medical supplies to our partners in Sierra Leone such as (RYDO-SL) and Ethiopia, such as Haramaya University community hospitals and clinics, where medicines and medical supplies are desperately needed.
In countries which have closed schools due to the pandemic, such as in Cameroon, Chad, and Sierra Leone, we have received reports that classes will be resuming soon in a safe and responsible manner at which time we will be able to resume our school fee program providing hundreds of children the opportunity to get an education.
And in Uganda, while our water protection project in cooperation with our partner there, Bega Kwa Bega, to prevent springs that serve numerous communities was put on hold, we are pleased to report that it has now resumed.
All of what we have been able to accomplish this year to help prevent the spread of coronavirus and save lives is due wholly to the supporters of Bread and Water for Africa®, without which none of this would have been possible.