While Uganda and the rest of the world are focused on tackling the coronavirus, there are growing warnings not to lose sight of other health threats. For us, malaria stands out. The World Health Organization (WHO) says the number of deaths from malaria in Sub-Saharan Africa this year could double - and COVID-19 is to blame.
Since the arrival of the pandemic, Uganics has been working hard to increase support towards those who are most vulnerable to its effects. This is because diseases like malaria can make a major comeback thanks to COVID-19.
We are working with local leaders to distribute our mosquito repellent soap to refugees and orphanages to protect themselves against mosquito bites. Our soap is anti-bacterial which allows users to use it to wash their hands and maintain good hand hygiene thus slowing the potential spread of the virus. We are also sharing relevant information about the virus through mini flyers in their own languages. We hope that by doing so, we tackle both the spread of malaria and the virus.
Since February, we have distributed over 52,000 pieces of our mosquito repellent soap to over 10,000 refugees in Bidibidi and Nakivali Refugee Settlements. This is in addition to orphanages. We have also worked with a few women in these communities and trained them on how to make our mosquito repellent soap to allow them to continue having access to this important malaria prevention method.
We found that refugees in these communities are vulnerable because of how difficult it is to; practice social distancing, access testing services, and receive the support from the government that is being given to citizens such as free face masks.
This is how we have been supporting vulnerable communities during the pandemic.