The GOAL Sierra Leone team has been assisting Freetown City Council to distribute essential food items to people in the capital currently in quarantine due to their Covid-19 symptoms.
This programme has seen these 142 quarantined individuals receive items such as water, oil, rice and beans.
As of May 1st, Sierra Leone has seen 124 Covid-19 cases and 7 deaths. Like most countries in the developing world where there are limited government supports, people in Sierra Leone fear being in quarantine or lockdown as it restricts their access to food. This GOAL/Freetown City Council initiative aims to ensure that those in quarantine have enough food and water, as well as to show the local community that quarantine will not result in neglect or hunger.
With limited healthcare capacity, countries like Sierra Leone rely on containment strategies such as quarantining sick individuals and those with Covid-19 symptoms. By demonstrating to communities that they will be provided for while in quarantine, it is hoped that those who might have Covid-19 will self-isolate to prevent the spread of the virus.
Many of those affected in Freetown live in densely packed living conditions, where social distancing is difficult. As a result, those with Covid-19 or symptoms of the disease are being housed together in quarantine facilities to prevent further community transmission.
The first case of Covid-19 in Sierra Leone was detected on the 31st of March. A three-day lockdown was implemented from 5th-9th April. During this time, GOAL distributed food and other essential items to the most vulnerable people across Freetown.
In addition to this project, GOAL is also procuring Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for its health teams across Sierra Leone. It is also distributing health information and working with local communities and educating community leaders on preventing the spread of Covid-19. Our teams in Sierra Leone have previous infectious disease control experience as a result of responding to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa in 2014-15.