Kit Blog

Thank you for remembering Nigerians affected by leprosy living in lockdown. God bless you!

18 Aug 2020 | Author: The Leprosy Mission Australia

You are wonderful. Really. You are.

The Leprosy Mission distributed Australian Aid palliatives packages to people affected by leprosy and disability across Zamfara state. All made possible with your help. Thank you!

Your prayers and support for people affected by leprosy is inspiring. Shehu, Mallama, Karima and other self-help group members in Nigeria thank you so much.

Shehu is an IDEA (International Association for Integration, Dignity and Economic Advancement) member, and has this heartfelt message for you:

“Thank you so much The Leprosy Mission Australia for your support with foods items and social amenities. Armed bandit kidnappers and cattle rustlers had driven our members from their houses and from the leprosy settlement in Moriki. These people suffer from cattle rustlers and kidnappers still now. They are stranded. We are now advocating to the government in Zamfara to help us find a place for them to live. May the almighty God reward you and God blessing be with you all. Thank you.”

Mallama, a Member of IDEA Yangoji, speaks of her current predicament:

“When The Leprosy Mission collaborated to get us some cartons of palliatives, the whole community shared. It was very helpful and thoughtful of them to do that. The Leprosy Mission also carried out a mobile outreach enlightening the whole community about COVID-19, its symptoms, and how to protect ourselves against it.” Thank you for your prayers and support.

“We do not have face masks, hand sanitisers or enough money to buy food, let alone antibacterial soap. A person with disability suffers 10 times more than a person without disability. Our major challenge is watching our children go to bed without dinner and no hope of getting any the next day.

“Please Leprosy Mission Supporters, continue to come to our aid just like you have always done, we need you more now than ever.

“Before the lockdown, we gather in our groups to carry out self-care, discuss our problems and collectively make decisions. We support one another emotionally and psychologically. But since COVID-19, we have not been able to enjoy that support. This makes life very difficult to live.”

Please pray for The Leprosy Mission team in Nigeria. Pray that they can reach these communities with aid through mobile clinics. Pray that they can provide emotional support during these unprecedented times.

Karima is the Dakwa Women’s Self-Help Group leader. She told us how she’s been coping with the local government restrictions:

Thanks to compassionate people like you,

“Last year, The Leprosy Mission empowered me with a grinding machine. It has been very helpful in sustaining my family because the surrounding community members used to get their vegetables grinded for a token. But since the lockdown, they do not come any more. Our savings are fast dwindling, my children and husband are also at home all the time and they need to eat. We are so scared because if this continues for another week, we are doomed!”

“It has not been very easy since the government enforced the ‘stay at home policy’. I cannot go anywhere for fear of been arrested and this new disease is not making things easy for me also as I and my family live in fear. All we now do at home is sleep and sleep some more.

“No one is telling us anything. Except for our officer from The Leprosy Mission who has visited a few times.

“When one of us gets sick, we self-medicate and pray for speedy recovery. This is because the hospitals do not attend to patients with other medical conditions for fear of COVID-19. This has put us in a constant fear for our lives. It is like the world has forgotten that we exist.”

Thank you that you have not forgotten people affected by leprosy and disability. Your prayers and support mean so much right now — more than ever.

Please pray that medical facilities will be open to people affected by leprosy and disability. Pray for safety and protection for Leprosy Mission workers as they travel to care for those in remote and dangerous places.

 

This project is supported by the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP). Thanks to ANCP, this project is able to help improve the well-being of people affected by leprosy and disability in Nigeria.

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