Today, April 7, Bread and Water for Africa® supports and applauds the World Health Organization’s (WHO) World Health Day, which has been held every April 7 since 1950 to draw worldwide attention to the major importance of global health.
This year’s theme, “Building a fairer, healthier world” recognizes that “Our world is an unequal one” when it comes to health care for all around the world.
“As COVID-19 has highlighted, some people are able to live healthier lives and have better access to health services than others — entirely due to the conditions in which they are born, grow, live, work and age,” states the WHO.
“All over the world, some groups struggle to make ends meet with little daily income, have poorer housing conditions and education, fewer employment opportunities, experience greater gender inequality and have little or no access to safe environments, clean water, and air, food security and health services.
“This leads to unnecessary suffering, avoidable illness, and premature death. This is not only unfair: it is preventable.”
Sadly, this is particularly true in sub-Saharan Africa.
At Bread and Water for Africa®, we have been working for some 20 years to provide medicines and medical supplies, and equipment to our partners in Cameroon, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Sierra Leone who operate clinics and hospitals to treat such preventable and easily treatable illnesses — with the proper medications — and literally save lives.
And we have the greatest respect for those frontline healthcare workers, sometimes risking their own lives to save others, such as Nurse Faty who works at the Mokoba Health Center operated by our partner, Rural Youth Development Organization – Sierra Leone.
Nurse Faty told us that working at a clinic in a rural village in Sierra Leone “is at most times difficult as one is working to save lives where people lack basic health information.”
She acknowledged becoming worried as the COVID-19 outbreak began to spread in the country — not so much for herself — but for those infected with the coronavirus who were fearful of being stigmatized for coming to the clinic for the treatment they needed.
Nurse Faty told us she was constantly thinking of how she could reach out to those in isolated communities and to explain to them to not be afraid to come to the clinic as many were more afraid of being identified COVID-19 patients than they were of becoming seriously ill or even dying.
To help alleviate that fear, she told us “I organized a community information program with various stakeholders to build confidence for patients and the community as a whole.”
Today, Nurse Faty says she is “happy as the rate of COVID-19 infections is declining,” but remains determined to do her work and save lives thanks to the generosity of the supporters of Bread and Water for Africa®.