Action against COVID-19 in rural Moz
Just like the rest of the planet, we too are doing what we can to address the current COVID-19 crisis in our context. The upside about it in Africa is that for the most part, Africa has lagged behind the rest of the world in the number of confirmed cases and speed of spread. One never knows the accuracy of the actual situation for lack of adequate testing capability, but even so, we are thankful for this apparent window of time for Africa as a whole. This has given us an additional “grace period” to spread accurate information about what people need to know and what they need to do for the best possible outcomes as soon as possible.
Africa is typically very communal, so the social distancing part will be a big challenge. But even so, people’s awareness has grown tremendously and we see promising changes in behavior already. But these are personal choices people make, just like they are anywhere.Hand hygiene, of course, is one of the primary ways anyone can prevent help prevent contamination. And this was one area where we could step in to effect change, so we did! We happened to have some fuel drums available, so we washed them out, fitted taps on them, made stands, and distributed them to the local community.
Each day, we will need to go fill these drums since these communities’ only source is a hand pump and that would take forever! These hand washing stations were placed at key points like the fresh vegetable market, the maize grinding mill, the water pump, and just outside one of the government hospitals.
The mission health workers and other key staff will continue to provide teaching in the community. Part of that is to dispel the many myths that are cropping up right now. Truth is needed when chaos wants to take over, especially in superstitious environments. The ideas that circulate are extremely funny if they were not so sad! Being able to discuss thing openly has been key.
There is also a shortage of masks here, as there is everywhere. So this was the opportune time for the Simukai sewing room to step in and use our mounds of 100% cotton print fabric and donated strips of this and that to sew masks. These are being distributed with strict instructions on their use if people are sick with colds/cough/fever.
Here at the mission, bars of soap by every main tap can be seen and everyone is rigorously observing the 20 hand scrub as often as possible, keeping our meetings to 10 or fewer people, and maintaining distance at the same time.
As of yesterday, our government declared we have entered the “3rd level” of state of emergency. There are only 4 levels. So for now, only essential activities take place both nationally as well as here at the mission. These are difficult times globally, but especially in countries where there is already so much poverty.
Although this is a challenging time, it has also provided us with a wonderful opportunity to share the hope and peace that we find through our faith in the One who loves us! Thanks for your prayers and support and know you are in our prayers.