Voices from Uganda.
In the immediate aftermath of the lockdown in Uganda, our team worked with our disability activist partners to collect a snapshot of the impact for disabled people. Here are some of the stories we heard.
Hellen is physically disabled and lives with HIV/AIDS. She used to mine and sell salt. The lockdown means Hellen is unable to go to the salt mine or market. She is now struggling to provide food for her and her family, which impacts her health. Hellen needs to take her HIV medication with meals. The hospital is far away, and due to her disability, Hellen struggles to access it. There is also currently a shortage of health workers. On the days Hellen can make it to the hospital, there is no guarantee that there will be staff to see her.
Musa is a disability activist and runs an organisation supporting disabled people in his community. He is paralysed and uses a wheelchair. He and his children depend on his wives income from the salt mines. Due to the lockdown, his wife cannot work. The family are struggling to survive, with nothing to eat.
Mary has a physical disability and a speech impairment. She was recently evicted from her home because of a new road construction. She and her child returned to her home village with no shelter, clothes, food or other basic needs. She now sleeps in a makeshift structure her brother and a good Samaritan built. Due to the current lockdown, the brother who used to take care of her is no longer able to do so because he too does not work.
Jeffrey is physically disabled and a shoe repairer in the city, working by the roadside. Due to the COVID-19 lockdown, he can no longer work. Jeffery does not know how to feed his wife and two children. Jeffery and his family are stuck at home with diminishing hope.
We must act now to save as many lives as possible.
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