By Vatican News
As the world continues its efforts to stem the coronavirus infection rate, the number of confirmed cases on the African continent has crossed the 770,000 mark with South Africa, Egypt and Nigeria having the highest numbers.
Since the first case of Covid-19 was confirmed in Niger in March, the number of those infected has grown to over 1,100 reported cases by mid-July. The country contains a population of over 22 million people.
Caritas Niger is supporting efforts in the fight against the health crisis in the country by highlighting the importance of high standards of hand hygiene. The organization has donated handwashing kits to parishes, communities, health centers and schools in the Archdiocese of Niamey and the Diocese of Maradi. The Diocese of Maradi is home to the largest and second-largest cities in Niger, as well as the administrative center of the Maradi region.
With this recent initiative, Caritas Niger is ensuring that people have the means to protect themselves against the pandemic through hand washing, especially in a mostly desert country where water scarcity presents unique problems to keeping hands clean.
One of the more recent deliveries of the handwashing kits was to Mariama School in Niamey just after schools reopened at the beginning of June after months of lockdown.
During that visit, Caritas Niger donated handwashing stations, bottles of hand sanitizer, liquid soap and face masks.
Expressing gratitude for the donation, Thierry Namata, the Director of Mariama School, said it gives a boost to the school’s efforts to protect the students from Covid-19. At the same time, it “ensures that the school can respect the hygiene measures necessary so students can study in safety.”
The school delivery was part of a €100,000 three-month-long program which is projected to help over half a million people.
Caritas will be focusing on ensuring communities have the means to maintain hygiene measures. It is also organizing grassroot awareness campaigns, and distributing food rations and money to families who are hard-hit by the crisis.