You Can Help Beat Every Crisis
Whose Life Matters?
In times of crisis who is always the most vulnerable?
Who is the most likely to be overlooked for help and support?
Who will be treated like they don’t matter?
The Coronavirus crisis has touched every one of us. Every one of you that I have spoken to recently had a story to tell. I pray that you and your family have stayed safe throughout the last few months.
We are just now discovering what we can and can’t do during Phase 2 of the Scottish Government’s process for easing the restrictions.
This crisis has touched every one of us. Most of the crises we see on the news tend to happen somewhere else.
And in every crisis, wherever it happens, it is always the same people who are worst affected. Poor. Sick. Disabled. Unemployed or insecurely employed. Homeless. Marginalised. Black.
People affected by leprosy are often among those at the very bottom of the pile. Facing the worst effects of every crisis and last on the list to get the help they need.
Across Nigeria right now, people affected by leprosy are facing a triple threat.
Nobody except The Leprosy Mission has given them any information about how to protect themselves. But information isn’t enough.
Mallama says that in her community “We hear that COVID 19 is transmitted through the air, we do not have face masks, no hand sanitizers or anti-bacterial soap”.
A gift from you today could provide basic supplies to help leprosy affected communities protect themselves from the virus.
“If something is not done quickly, a whole lot of us will die of starvation before COVID 19 gets to us” she continues.
“Before the government’s restrictions on movement, I engaged in petty trading of household items. But since the lockdown I cannot go out to the market. Even the savings I made have all been used to cater for my family. My husband’s hands are also tied because he cannot go out to sell his farm produce. The future looks very bleak.
“We all live from hand to mouth. Sometimes we go to bed without dinner and I can say the same for majority members of this community.”
Karima agrees “I have not been able to earn any money since the lockdown. Our savings are fast dwindling, children are also at home all the time and they need to eat. My husband is also stuck in the house with me, he cannot go out to engage in menial jobs to cater for the family. We are so scared because if this continues for another week, we are doomed!”
For Malam, the problem is clear “Feeding has become very difficult for us. We no longer have food like before”.
His wife Altine explains “I used to buy and sell cloth and buy food with the profit. There are many of us. Unless people give us charity we will have nothing to eat.”
The restrictions aren’t only making it hard to feed their families, they are interrupting the treatment of their leprosy too.
“Self-help group meetings and ulcer care meetings have been at a stand-still” explains Mallama.
“We need ulcer care materials” says Karima.
They both agree that “hospitals do not attend to patients with other medical conditions currently, for fear of COVID 19”.
This takes an emotional toll too says Mallama, “We support one another emotionally and psychologically. But since COVID 19, we have not been able to enjoy that communal support. This makes life very difficult to live.”
Karima agrees, “I cannot go to my friend’s house to discuss any pressing emotional or psychological issues with her, neither can she come to mine. So, we all have to deal with our problems all by ourselves. It sometimes gets overwhelming.”
Many people affected by leprosy are seeing their physical and mental health damaged as much by the restrictions to prevent Coronavirus as by the virus itself.
You can help them back to full health! Please give to provide medical care and counselling to people affected by leprosy.
With your help, people affected by leprosy will survive this crisis. But what about the next one?
The best way to make sure that people like Mallama, Karima, Malam and Altine can overcome every crisis is to make leprosy a thing of the past.
By Spotting, Treating and Stopping leprosy you can improve millions of people’s chances to deal with any future crisis.
Your gift today will help to end the transmission of leprosy around the world.
Thanks to your gift today, there will be a day when disability and discrimination caused by leprosy will also be eradicated.
“A person with disability suffers 10 times more than a person without disability because of the social, economic, and institutional barriers that we face.”
Please give to end the disability caused by leprosy and to remove all the barriers to a safe, healthy, dignified life.
You can show people affected by leprosy that their life does matter!
(Watch a video of Malam and Altine describing the dreadful situation they are facing with their family)
My Gift to help people affected by leprosy through the Coronavirus crisis