COVID-19 & Its Effects on the Students of Sierra Leone
Thanks to hard lessons learned five years ago during the Ebola hemorrhagic fever epidemic in West Africa, Sierra Leone was already well experienced in the practice of quarantining, contact tracing, and lock downs. But the measures taken to stem this more recent Covid-19 crisis have had a devastating effect on the life of the average Sierra Leonean who cannot store up food supplies for more than one or two days. Most Sierra Leoneans do not have regular jobs as we understand them, but must work on a farm or sell in a market, and in the cases of a disabled parent, must beg today in order to feed his or her family tonight.
Mosques and churches have already been opened and schools will likely resume classes in September. Africa Surgery will be hard pressed to send the students it has already been supporting through its student sponsorship program to school. In many, if not most, cases we will now have to include some extra feeding assistance because as one student once told me, “an empty bag cannot stand.”
We are well aware that Covid-19 has been and is still dealing havoc on the economy of the United States and of much of the rest of the world. But if those of you who have so generously been supporting one or more students can afford to continue to help, please do so with your gift of $200 per student per year. And if you can afford to add an additional gift of $20, $50 or even $100 dollars per student, your gift will go very far in helping your student or students to concentrate and to learn.