OneMama’s Coronavirus Pandemic Response & Plea for Help
Wash your hands, they said…
It’s common sense, they said…
The World Health Organization (WHO) list washing your hands regularly as the top way to prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). With running water and access to soap and sanitizers, this is so simple. It’s considered common sense.
But what if you can’t?
And what if you don’t have access to soap or even water? What then?
In villages like the village in rural Uganda where the OneMama Health Center is located, most houses don’t have convenient access to running water or a consistent soap supply, much less hand sanitizer.
Due to the very nature of the work that is done at our OneMama Health Center, the community is dependent on OneMama’s services more than ever during the coronavirus pandemic.
Most of OneMama’s patients come to the clinic solely because it’s the only place they can wash their hands with water and soap. And OneMama’s soap supply is running critically low.
The lack of soap, however, is not the only problem OneMama faces during these unprecedented times…
ACCESS TO WATER FOR CORONAVIRUS PREVENTION
The OneMama Health Center is blessed to have a water pump conveniently located next to the grounds.
However, most community members in our village and parish do not have access to clean drinking water, much less water for washing their hands.
Before this pandemic began, OneMama was well underway in the preparations to bring a whole new water system to the village! This project completion was going to be a complete game changer!
But due to these hard times ahead with managing the spread of coronavirus, the development is stalled until further notice.
Since water-born illnesses are amongst the top treated sicknesses at the OneMama Clinic, having clean water is essential.
With the spread of the coronavirus on high alert and the country on strict lockdown, there is barely enough water to cook with, let alone wash with.
There is literally no water in marginalized villages like ours for people to wash their hands, and there is NO SOLUTION in place to help these people!
OneMama is doing all we can to bring these much needed solutions to our community members, but so much help from our donors is still needed to make this happen!
Please note that due to the COVID-19 curve projected to peak in Uganda in early July, the OneMama team of volunteers that planned to bring the new water system to the village in July, must be postponed. Stay tuned for updates on this.
ACCESS TO SOAP FOR CORONAVIRUS PREVENTION
The OneMama community and crafts club members make handmade soap as one of OneMama’s many economic sustainability programs. However, all of the soap the members made prior to the coronavirus pandemic have sold out.
Our community can no longer come together to work or educate and empower each other during this time. This has also halted the abilities for the women to share supplies and equipment to do crafts like handmade soaps.
After many disappointing attempts, there is just no soap available in the stores for us to provide to the community. Our only supply of soap for the entire community is in our Clinic at setup washing stations.
Once the limited supply is gone, we are uncertain what we will do for the clinic, much less our community as a whole.
If anyone has any ideas to help us obtain soap or soap ingredients during the coronavirus pandemic, please contact us at [email protected].
GOVERNMENT SUPPORT? Nope.
There is no such thing as government support in Uganda nor any agencies setup to help in case of a pandemic like the coronavirus COVID-19 spread.
The OneMama Health Clinic and community members are even more reliant on themselves now than ever and are desperate for our help!
COVID-19 TESTING? Not a Chance…
Needless to say, with all of these daily medical need shortages, there is absolutely no means for our staff to conduct COVID-19 tests.
Remember too, when people in Uganda die from COVID-19, they will not be counted in the death toll since there are absolutely no access to tests.
Our medical staff is begging to get the resources needed to be able to offer COVID-19 testing at our OneMama Clinic lab. We have yet to find anyone remotely close to getting that for us.
If anyone has information or a lead in Uganda to get the chemical lab ingredients for rapid tests to create in our labs and use for testing, please reach out to us at [email protected].
Since no testing is available, we have to treat everyone like they have coronavirus. This leads to a larger need for social distancing and an increased demand for more medical gear and supplies.
MASKS, PPE, MEDICAL SUPPLIES. Have Any?
Most pharmacies and medical suppliers that we frequently depend on in Uganda are now out of N95 masks, protective gear, and gloves.
So… OneMama members came up with a solution to use the material we normally use to make the OneMama Collection dresses to make masks.
Since we have to assume everyone has COVID-19, now every OneMama Clinic patient is given their own “bandana” mask while the staff members are using the limited N95 masks. Once we run out of N95s everyone will wear the bandana masks.
In place of the unobtainable personal protective equipment (PPE) for our staff, we are making our own protective gear using the plastic that we put down on the floors of the patient’s rooms. It’s like a trash bag material, but thicker, and we have adequate supply of it for now.
Our OneMama Health Center was fortunate to secure about 1 month’s worth of medical supplies such as antibiotics, birthing kits, gloves, pain medication, birth control (pregnancy rates have already increased due to the pandemic and access to birth control is an ongoing challenge for OneMama — read about that here).
However, most of our medical supplies are imported from China or India, and all of Uganda is reliant on these imports, and they have halted for the time being while Ugandan borders are closed. So our supplies are now scarce, and we have to use them very prudently since we are quickly running out.
Think 168,000 ventilators is too few? Try 3. Ventilators are extremely scarce in Uganda. The closest city to our village is Kampala where only a few ventilators are in the hospitals. There are NO ventilators to service rural Uganda at all.
Apart from the scarcity of supplies in general, it is not safe to be on the streets right now in Uganda. It is illegal to drive around without proper licensing due to the lock down. Such trips would require a special hired vehicle under protection as it delivers the high-demand supplies back to the village from the city. But even if we did this, the chance of the pharmacy having the supplies we need are slim.
OneMama Can Continue to Serve Mamas in Need… Only With YOUR HELP.
Something not talked about much that terrifies the OneMama family is the fact that rural and impoverished communities like in Africa are going to be hit so much harder than Western industrialized locations due to lack of resources.
OneMama Organization is doing all we can to protect our Ugandan community and properly equip them to fight in this world battle against this virus and it sweeping through and destroying all the sustainability goals they have worked so hard to build over the past 12 years.
There is simply no easy way for these mamas and babies to keep safe during this time. Without access to clean water, soap, masks, gloves, protective gear, and tests or any plan for such, the livelihood of our Ugandan OneMama family members (and the entire village) are at severe risk!
We NEED your SUPPORT NOW more than EVER!
We beg you for your support during this time, please click here to help with funding for medical equipment and supplies.
To make a simple direct donation, please click here.
Or BETTER YET… Join the OneMama Action Alliance Membership – Click here!
Your donation is 100% tax deductible.
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