AFRICA/ETHIOPIA - Increased Covid-19 risk in refugee camps: protective masks and disinfectants for schools

Monday, 8 February 2021 refugees   pandemic   coronavirus  

Gambella (Agenzia Fides) - Masks, soap and hand disinfectants have been distributed in various primary and secondary schools located in the four refugee camps of Jewi, Itang and Kule in Gambella, Ethiopia.
"According to the report of the Ethiopian Ministry of Health, the Covid-19 pandemic is on the rise", declares the Vicar Apostolic of Gambella, Mgr. Roberto Bergamaschi SDB, in a note sent to Agenzia Fides. The Vicar reiterated that it is necessary to intensify the preventive measures which are very limited within the refugee camps.
Bishop Bergamaschi insisted on reminding the school communities of the main pandemic prevention activities to be carried out daily in schools and camp communities.
"Each of us must seriously commit to complying with the requirements and together with the regional government, in cooperation with all organizations active here, we must pay more attention to these particularly needy communities", emphasizes the Bishop in the note sent to Fides.
According to data from the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) as of December 31, 2020, the total number of refugees in Ethiopia is around 337,410 people. The risk of infection is particularly high due to the conditions in which people live in the camps.
The materials made available were distributed by the Vicar of Gambella together with Vicar General Abba Tesfaye Petros and Ato Zerihun, Deputy Coordinator of the Justice and Peace Commission of the Episcopal Conference and were funded by the Canadian Embassy in Ethiopia. (AP) (Agenzia Fides, 8/2/2021)