TICAH on COVID-19
On Friday 13 March 2020, Kenya got the news we had all be anticipating, that the coronavirus that everyone around the world has been fighting had arrived in the country and had infected someone with COVID-19. Over the weekend, the infection count jumped to three people and 20+ additional people quarantined and waiting for test results. By Sunday, the President of Kenya addressed the nation and set in place a partial lockdown of the country – shutting down schools and international flights, prohibiting gatherings, and urging all Kenyans to work from home if possible and to avoid public transport and social interactions.
As a health organization, TICAH takes the health and wellness of its staff and partners across the country and the continent very seriously. Starting Monday 16 March 2020, TICAH adhered to the President’s directive by cancelling all meetings and program plans that may put people’s health at risk and has urged our staff to work from home for those who are able to do this. We are staying in touch with each other and building our skills to work remotely.
While working at home, we are communicating with our community partners to see how they are doing and to find out how we can continue to support them without putting anyone at risk. Our arts program has started online campaigns to engage artists to create and share their work while we are under lockdown, our Aunty Jane hotline has found ways to keep the hotline open for those in need of SRHR counseling and information, our community health program continues to monitor the situation within the informal settlements of Nairobi where we work, our MAMA network continues to find ways to connect and work with our partners pan-Africa, our indigenous wisdom and knowledge program continues to talk to the elders in our network sharing the news of what’s going on and listening to their concerns and wisdom from past times. All of us at TICAH continue to plan, work, reach out, and rethink our strategies in these uncertain times. We had planned for a security training with partners this week, but we have had to postpone this. We are in communication with partner organizations and will communicate new training dates as soon as we are able to. We will also be able to communicate on any delays expected on our programming once we have a better understanding of the shifts that this situation will present.
While we are unsure what will happen with the lockdown and the pandemic, we are hopeful that the virus will be contained here and around the world soon and that we will all reemerge with new insights and perspectives to move the world forward to a better place. What gives us hope is just how small the world has gotten in the past month, how we are all sharing the same challenge and how we are all working to do the best we can to take care of the health of the whole world.