The COVID-19 pandemic hit us differently in Nigeria . It became more apparent that we all have to come up with strategies to ease us into the new normal.
OUR RESPONSE TO COVID-19
Alabiamo Foundation interventions have always been targeted to the most vulnerable and marginalized around us. We had to cancel all of our medical interventions in all the communities we serve due to the “Stay at Home” order and advised the women to use the primary health centers close to them which are still opened.
We were however fully aware that these women and babies will find it difficult navigating their way to the health centers which are not easily accessible to them and even worse, they will go hungry as a result of the compulsory lockdown imposed upon us by the government to curb the spread of Corona virus.
Ekoro Community beneficiaries at Abule Egba Town in Lagos State
Therefore, our response strategy is to turn our regular health outreaches in these communities into a “Food Bank” and with the help our donors who donated generously during our fundraising and community volunteers who are also benefactors, indigenes and dwellers of these communities, we launched last week Monday , 30th March 2020. This is a means of sustaining our benefactors by providing them with basic raw & staple food items like Beans, Garri and Rice. We fundraised and are still fundraising as we intend to keep this going for as long as the lockdown lasts.
A mother receiving food items package at Oko Agbon Community
We have distributed food items to eight Lagos State communities so far including Sogunro, Jesuko, Oko Agbon, Banku, Mokore, Arigbede, Aguda, Ekoro all in Lagos and Ogun state. We targeted families of the pregnant women, nursing mothers and other vulnerable sects within these communities
We also had a package for community health workers i.e. midwives and nurses who are at the frontline delivering babies at this critical times. We transferred cash to some families who cannot be reached with the food items due to long distance so they could shop for essentials by themselves.
Mother receiving food items at Jesuko community
FOLLOWING NCDC GUIDELINES
Our volunteers were advised to deliver to the homes of our beneficiaries to avoid crowd and adhere to the social distancing directive by the NCDC. This was possible in some communities but , it was too difficult to achieve in some communities especially in Sogunro, where we usually record the highest attendance during our routine health events. However, going forward strict policies will be observed by our volunteers to ensure not more than twenty people will be gathered to recover items .
Some staple Food items purchased for the food bank
A CALL FOR DONATIONS
Sadly more women and their families are still in need of the food and we are preparing to launch in other communities as well and continue in the places where we have reached on a biweekly basis. We are calling for more donations as we are still fundraising to support more women, babies and families with food items to prevent hunger and starvation at this critical times for as long as the lockdown lasts.
Health workers risking their lives at this critical time where pregnant women who go into labor need to be attended to are also a top priority for us and with your donations we can support them all.