Support for the most vulnerable in the crisis

Persons affected by leprosy show their joy for the relief material

RedAid Nigeria has taken aid measures in the COVID-19 crisis to ensure survival and help where it is urgently needed.

Corona virus, COVID-19, pandemic … Wherever you are, these words dominate the news these days. It is natural that in this moment we are concentrated on our own health, with the health of family members and friends. How do we stay healthy? How do we keep the virus at bay? These thoughts unite us with (almost) every person on earth these days.

But even though we are rightly focused on ourselves, it is essential that our thoughts still go out to those who have been vulnerable to begin with: persons already affected by other diseases and people with disabilities, the ones who are already disadvantaged and whose economic situation has been dire even before COVID-19 hit economies worldwide. The current pandemic puts people with a precondition – such as an infection with tuberculosis – at a much higher risk of contracting the virus and of falling seriously ill. Furthermore, their already dire economic situation worsens due to the closure of businesses, the restrictions in travelling and the general recession that has hit Nigeria.

Sending relief

In these times of hardship, RedAid Nigeria continues to stand by its clients and beneficiaries. Together with DAHW (German Leprosy and Tuberculosis Relief Association), they have organised relief activities with the aim of supporting families economically in order to help them get through the crisis. Therefore, RedAid Nigeria and DAHW in collaboration with health and social workers identified a total number of approximately 1000 families in 11 states of southern Nigeria to be recipients of the relief material. Most families received support through financial aid since the personal distribution was hindered due to inter-state travel restrictions. Trusted partners of RedAid Nigeria and DAHW, such as faith-based healthcare facilities and state programme managers carried out the transactions and made sure that the right households received the help.

Support for the most vulnerable in the crisis

A welcome visit

In Enugu State, however, RedAid Nigeria and DAHW staff was able to visit two Leprosy Settlements where they handed out the relief material to the beneficiaries in person. First stop was the Oji River Leprosy Settlement, hours away from the town of Enugu. When the RedAid Nigeria bus arrived at the administration office, members of the community were already waiting, welcoming the visitors cheerfully. RedAid Nigeria and DAHW staff unloaded the many sacks containing rice, beans, crayfish, yam, vegetable oil, tomato paste, detergent and bathing soap as well as about 300 tubers of yam. Social Advisor Nchekwube Ndubuizu called each household on the list individually, made sure they were given their share of relief material and financial aid in cash. The receiving person acknowledged the acceptance by signature or fingerprint.

Heart-warming gratitude

At the end, the present community members thanked RedAid Nigeria and DAHW with singing and prayer. They expressed their gratitude for being remembered in this crisis. Before continuing to the Nike Leprosy Settlement, the staff visited a few more persons affected by leprosy in their houses who due to severe disabilities were not able to come for the distribution of the relief material themselves. The recipients happily welcomed the visitors and were most grateful for the help provided by RedAid Nigeria and DAHW.