Coronavirus in Africa – Dear supporters

Coronavirus in Africa – Dear supporters

Coronavirus in Africa – Dear supporters

Dear friends and supporters of CRESS

These are strange and uncertain days. Who could have predicted even a week ago that we would find ourselves in this situation here in the UK where we are asked to stay at home, where schools and shops have closed, and society as we knew it seems to have ground to a halt. Coronavirus is a very real threat to many of us, especially those who are more elderly or physically unwell, and my thoughts and prayers are with you. In the midst of the shock, fear and immense change to everyday life there is one who is unchanging: the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the same yesterday, today and forever and in him we can find our refuge and strength (Psalm 46).
I wanted to update you on the situation in northern Uganda with the South Sudanese refugees that CRESS is supporting.
There is some good news at present, but a very real threat too

Across Africa cases of Coronavirus or Covid19 are currently relatively low except in South Africa and countries such as Algeria. However, the consequences if the virus was top take hold across the continent could be disastrous. The focus of the health authorities, including the World Health Organisation (WHO), is currently on prevention. Some nations have imposed travel bans and some have closed schools.

The challenge is that many countries simply do not have not well-developed healthcare systems. Hospitals and clinics could find themselves very quickly completely overwhelmed if there was to be a major outbreak.
A lack of facilities to keep clean and hygienic (access to clean water and toilets) would also make washing hands and preventing transmission of the virus very difficult. Many of the people we support live in extreme poverty, they do not have enough food to eat and the food they do have is of poor nutritional value – it lacks essential vitamins and minerals to stay healthy. This means that very many people have weakened immune systems and underlying health problems – we see this at our primary healthcare clinic every day.
CRESS is working on the frontline to help protect the people
Washing up in Uganda

The support we are providing to refugees, such as learning how to grow food crops, aims to reduce hunger and help families become healthier and stronger. It is this that is desperately needed in northern Uganda. But in the short term, we are also taking extra steps to try to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the people we serve. Working with the Diocese of Liwolo and Bishop Joseph, we are carefully monitoring the situation.

Church staff are avoiding any unnecessary travel to the capital, Kampala. Some of our planned activities, such as Jesus Film groups, may be put on hold.
Caroline Lamb, CEO of CRESS
Clinic Staff in Mijale

We are also aiming to provide additional protective clothing and equipment to staff working at our clinic, as this is where any cases of Coronavirus would be likely to present. Through our ongoing work with refugee communities, we are able to advise people of the symptoms of Coronavirus and what to do if they, or a family member, falls ill. We are educating the people about the importance of handwashing to protect themselves and their loved ones from the virus.

Please pray with us

Thank you for standing with us, and the South Sudanese refugees, at this time. May I ask for your prayers?
  • Please pray for the continent of Africa and it’s protection from outbreaks of Coronavirus
  • Pray for the CRESS staff in Uganda, that they remain well and can support the South Sudanese refugees
  • Pray for the men, women and children we serve – for the Lord’s protection of them at this time of additional vulnerability.
Bishop Joseph Aba and Caroline
Bishop Joseph Aba and Caroline

I will, of course, update you in the weeks to come. In the meantime, my prayers are with you, your loved ones and your communities.

May God bless you and keep youIf you would like to donate towards our Coronovirus prevention work please donate HERE

Caroline Lamb, CEO of CRESS