Humanity & Inclusion’s teams in Togo are taking action to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Our priority is to help the most vulnerable people understand the importance of taking basic precautionary measures. We’re also helping others cope with their fear of the virus.
How does the virus spread? How can a person protect themselves? What’s best way to help people with disabilities, who are often the most vulnerable? Humanity & Inclusion tackles these questions and more.
Spreading awareness messages far and wide
Humanity & Inclusion’s team drives around the streets of Togo’s capital, Lomé, broadcasting prevention messages through loudspeakers mounted on the roof of their vehicles. “It works really well because people want clear information on how to protect themselves and their loved ones,” explains Irène Manterola, Humanity & Inclusion's country director in Togo. “There are a lot of mixed signals out there, so it’s not easy for everyone to navigate.”
Basic precautionary measures adapted to the most vulnerable
For many, the recommended precautionary measures are impossible to apply. For example, what about a wheelchair user who needs help bathing or eating? “Social distancing, okay! But people with disabilities or older people—individuals who normally need a caregiver or health or medical assistant, cannot be left to fend for themselves. We need caregivers to be able to protect themselves, while also attending to the most vulnerable,” Irène adds.
Making hygiene accessible to all
The price of hygiene products in Togo has soared in recent weeks—including a seven-fold increase in the cost of sanitizer gel. This makes it even more difficult for people to take precautionary measures. To combat these challenges, Humanity & Inclusion’s teams are making bleach and soap for hygiene kits, so that the most vulnerable have access to these essential items. “We hand them out to our beneficiaries and in the poorest areas, where there is more overcrowding.”
Radio programs to reassure the population
The pandemic has generated a lot of fear in Togo. To help people manage this fear, our teams have recorded a series of radio segments. “One of the biggest problems we face is how to gauge the information. People need to know how serious the situation is without making them feel completely helpless,” says Irène. Building on the success of these programs, we are now working with the country’s union of psychiatrists and psychologists to create a free counseling helpline that anyone can call seeking support.
Humanity & Inclusion in Togo
Humanity & Inclusion has been working in Togo for nearly 23 years and implements multiple projects. This work is particularly in aid of people with disabilities and highly vulnerable groups. We work to improve the healthcare services provided to mothers and children, we promote inclusive education, and much more. Learn more about our work in Togo.