The Paper Fig Foundation and the Coronavirus
March 11, 2020
One concern of the global community since the onset of the Coronavirus has been what happens if the virus spreads to sub-Saharan Africa and other areas in the world where there are large swathes of the populations without access to healthcare. The Paper Fig Health Center was built because there was absolutely no access to healthcare in Kihara, a mountainous area in Southwestern Uganda. Now we have a medical staff, medications on site, and we've installed a clean water tank that gives patients and the surrounding community vital fluids. If the Coronavirus spreads to Uganda, which we hope it will not, the health center will be the first place the people of Kihara turn to for help.
We at the Paper Fig Foundation are committed to taking this pandemic very seriously. Our team has put preventative measures in place: handwashing facilities at the entrance to each of our buildings, gloves on every patient that visits the health center, and an isolation area in the medical compound where patients can wait if they are presenting symptoms of Coronavirus, before being transferred to a hospital. We are also increasing our community outreach, educating the public about Coronavirus and encouraging frequent hand washing and limiting handshakes and hugging.
Uganda as a nation is also trying to prevent Coronavirus from entering the country. With surrounding countries, like the Democratic Republic of Congo, having suffered tremendously from multiple Ebola outbreaks, this kind of prevention is not brand new. For anyone traveling to Uganda from high-risk countries including the US, there is a required two week quarantine that must be done either at home or in a government facility. Uganda also postponed the 2020 UN G77 and China Summit, which was scheduled for mid-April in Kampala. This is a bold preventative measure that will affect the economy, as more than 6000 delegates from 136 member states were expected to attend.
Please continue to check in here on our web site or on our social media channels on Instagram and Facebook to stay up to date on how East Africa is responding to the Coronavirus situation, and how the Paper Fig community is managing the impact.