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So far only a few infected people have been registered in Uganda (update 20th April: 55 cases), but – like everywhere else - there is big fear and it can be assumed that the pandemic on the African continent is still getting off the ground.
The restrictions for the population are very painful. Passenger transport is hardly possible any more, there is a curfew from 2 p. m. until 5 a. m. Urgent errands must be done with the SALEM ambulance. The SALEM pick-up is allowed to leave from time to time, however with a load on return journey only. Some staff members are being stuck at their places of residence and are not able to come to the SALEM village. In some cases it is just the opposite, they cannot go back to their families.
Actually, the district should take on the transportation of the patients but it does not work. The ones to suffer are the sick people and the pregnant women, especially in rural areas. Other diseases are being neglected which can also have lethal consequences.
Our Health Center has not received any support by the government in order to prepare for the crisis. Another big problem is that there are no other possibilities for being tested than in Entebbe. People who are suspected of having the virus CoVID shall go to Mbale hospital where an isolation ward has been fitted out. When a smear has been made it must be brought to Entebbe where apparently there is one testing device only! There is still no plan how this should be made in the villages. The small health centers – like e. g. that in the SALEM village – are first contact points for the patients, but they are not being supported.
Otherwise, it is, unfortunately, very quiet in our SALEM village at the moment. The hospital is not very busy, the School of Nursing was already closed at the beginning of March. The Childrens’ Home is working in a reduced way whereas, of course, the 35 children are all there. However, it has considerably been cut off, no visitors are allowed. Security and the Technical Department also do their duties in a reduced way.
In the Tailoring Department there are still two ladies mainly sewing masks and other protective clothing. Together with the Health Staff they have even designed patterns to sew stable protective clothing out of imitation leather.
Part of our Corona Programme has already been funded and some items on the agenda like installing hand washing stations and buying necessary equipment for the Health Center have been put to practice.
Food supply will become an immense problem in the future, as well, especially for the Childrens‘ Home. Supplies with food are meagre and hard to get. We find it increasingly important to be self-sufficient!
For this purpose SALEM-Uganda bought a piece of neighbouring land which must be cultivated now in order to be more and more able to harvest vegetables and fruit of our own in the future. Currently it is raining and the conditions are ideal to plant trees which then give shade for other plants like e. g. maize and beans for the Childrens’ Home. Part of the land has been rented out to staff members who committed themselves to caring for the young seedlings.
Now even more trees should be planted during this rainy season. Moreover it is important to build up at least part of the fence in order to protect the seedlings and little plants. If you have been to SALEM-Uganda yourself you may remember the peaceful atmosphere there. We pray that this may remain.
Please support us to get SALEM-Uganda through these hard times. Each donation counts and helps! You can make an online donation here. Thank you very much!
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