Over the last couple of months, the world has been responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. For some time Sierra Leone was one of the few countries that escaped a case, and we were hopeful that we could continue with training our ten new recruits, selected on 21 March. Perhaps unsurprisingly, on 31 March the country had it’s first case of COVID-19. As of today (27 April), the country has had 93 cases, and sadly four deaths. Community transmission of the virus has begun. Therefore, DST has taken the difficult decision to postpone the commencement of our training, until such time as it is safe to begin.
However, Dr Abs Dumbuya, our CEO in Sierra Leona, and the DST team have not been idle. People with disabilities are especially disadvantaged, and at particular risk from COVID-19. More often than not they are impoverished, face prejudice and are on the margins of society. Recognising this, DST has quickly stepped up to provide support where he can. His first step was to co-ordinate the distribution of bags of rice to people with disabilities, to ensure they have food during any lockdown. He is now leading on the development of COVID-19 awareness materials that are specific to people with disabilities – for example, if you use crutches to assist walking, you need to wash the crutch handles as well as your hands. A week ago DST published on our Facebook page our new song (CLICK HERE TO HEAR OUR NEW SONG), recently recorded, which tells people with disabilities about the importance of social distancing, handwashing and not touching your face. Abs does a star turn at the end with some very accomplished rapping!
The hard work continues, with plans for more educational materials and the production of face masks. DST will also monitor cases of COVID-19 amongst the disability community, to ensure they receive the necessary support. Your support at this time is highly valued in helping to protect one of the most vulnerable elements of Sierra Leone society. If you want to find out more or support us, please get in touch – more details are on our Get Involved and Contact Us pages.
|Providing bags of rice||Abs Rapping|