March 2020: Ethiopia / Lalibela: COVID 19 and prevention at PBF

COVID 19 and prevention at PBF in Lalibela

The current situation also presents our foundation with new challenges – not only in Ethiopia but also in Sri Lanka, Uganda, and Kenya.

Our team in Lalibela consists of four employees. They are trained by PBF in the health or social field and have a university degree. The leader of this team, the shop steward responsible for Lalibela (and all local projects), is Mesay Mequanent. He returned from Addis Ababa on Thursday and wrote the following to the staff in Lalibela this Friday:

Good Morning. I have followed your talks about this Covid 19 pandemic as it has now become a devastating virus for the world. We now have 12 confirmed cases in Addis. So sooner or later this will spread to other parts of the country and cannot be controlled.

I, therefore, value our PBF as a social organization that shows its responsibility in combating this virus and protects our population, especially in Lalibela, by providing the necessary hygienic precautions and means and immediately assuming it through our healthcare-trained responsibility and competence.

I have read all of Abebe’s statements carefully and find that he describes the situation professionally. Our work is limited to Lalibela, which is why we concentrate on what is possible for us in order to strive for the most concrete, practical prevention possible if a case should arise. We will all try to consider the limited capacity of PBF when planning the next steps.

Abebe clearly stated the responsibilities of the team and the instructions for prevention. Here PBF is expected to be able to meet all the financial requirements for the work ahead. But let’s keep in mind that PBF has limited financial options (and helps in other countries too). State health facilities also play an important role in protecting our population. So let’s start effectively now with the small, very practical steps to prevent and raise awareness of the dangerous situation.

We have 142 people in need, 7 patients (with diabetes, HIV …) and 18 disabled people. So there are a total of 167 people we look after, and here is a list of the people we support every month.

  1. The first step should be a clear, understandable and practical orientation by our medically trained team members such as Abebe Zewdu and Addis Nega. This includes above all the prevention rules of the WHO and the special challenges in our country.
  2. PBF provides 3 liters of water for each person so that cooking materials and clothing can be washed clean.
  3. PBF gives 3 normal size soaps to each person to wash hands and body.
  4. Hand disinfectants, masks and gloves protect our employees.
  5. In our office, we provide a small water tank so that everyone can wash their hands every time they visit

NB: Since we have to reduce and control our contacts, we plan to hand over the monthly support amount to our recipient list without a signature. The signature will be made up in the future.

The orientation lectures and the distribution of detergents should take place in our office. We want to minimize the risk of contacts. A group should not exceed 10 people.

We’ll start with all of these arrangements early next week. Then people will visit our office to collect their monthly maintenance. In the meantime, I’m waiting for the money to buy the detergents.


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