All of the countries where we work are striving to slow the spread of the coronavirus through restrictions on public gatherings or quarantines. Below, you can find the most up-to-date reports from those countries, and how the new guidelines are affecting Compassion programming. Please continue to check back to this page for further updates.
A message from your Sponsored Child’s Country
Watch updates from Africa Region National Directors and other Compassion staff below.
Africa Region: Updates
[Update as of July 27, 2021]
As of July 18, Burkina Faso is reporting an average of four new cases of COVID-19 per day, but the true figure may be higher because testing remains limited. So far, the country has given out over 33,000 vaccine doses, enough to vaccinate less than 1 per cent of the population. The country’s overall situation continues to worsen due to the lack of necessities like clean water, shelter and medical care. A widespread lack of food is also reported. As these factors play out, women, children and other vulnerable population groups are at risk of malnutrition and violence.
Many child development centres are allowing children to return in small groups for activities and classes, but some are only able to make home visits and phone calls to check on families. A few centres in Burkina Faso have been able to recently reopen. Compassion partner churches have distributed over 600,000 food packs and nearly 584,00 hygiene kits to families and continue to work to raise awareness of COVID-19 preventive measures. They also have helped over 112,000 individuals obtain medical care.
Ethiopia is averaging around 89 new cases of COVID-19 a day as of July 16, down by more than half since June. At least 2 million doses of the vaccine have been administered, enough to fully vaccinate around 1 per cent of the population. The situation in Ethiopia remains unstable and dangerous because of the continued armed conflict in the Tigray region of the country. Combined with the pandemic, this conflict has caused extreme food shortages and loss of wages for many families. The humanitarian crisis in this country continues to worsen.
Child development centres are operating at different levels depending on the region and local guidelines. The majority are allowing children to return in small groups for activities and classes, and some have even been able to fully resume normal program activities. In some regions, centres remain closed for safety. Staff members continue to make home visits and phone calls to families. They are diligently checking on children and looking for signs of abuse and providing trauma counselling as needed. Partner church staff members have distributed over 1 million food packs and almost 645,500 hygiene kits and have provided medical support to nearly 60,000 individuals.
As of July 16, Ghana is averaging around 244 cases of COVID-19 per day, a large increase from the average of 31 recorded in June. The country has administered over 1.2 million doses of the vaccine to its 29.3 million people, enough to fully immunize 2 per cent of the population, up from 1.4 per cent in May. Hospitals in Ghana do not have the capacity to serve their communities, so the pandemic has hit the country’s health infrastructure hard.
The majority of Compassion child development centres are meeting in small groups to hold classes, take updated photos and write letters, while a few have been able to resume normal activities. Some centres have been able to work with local radio stations to air curricula for students at home. Others make home visits and phone calls to check on children and their families. Staff continue to handle health screenings, emergency medical care, child protection interventions and disaster response for beneficiaries as needed. So far, staff members have been able to provide more than 233,000 food packs and over 216,500 hygiene kits, as well as medical support to almost 98,000 individuals.
Kenya’s COVID-19 cases have risen to an average of 572 per day as of July 16, compared to 280 in June. The country has administered 1.6 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, enough to fully inoculate 1.5 per cent of its 54.8 million people. Unfortunately, Kenya’s vaccination program has been slowed due to the country’s lack of doses. The country remains in the process of obtaining more. Kenya has reinstituted a lockdown in the 13 counties with the most new cases. A curfew is in place, nonessential markets are closed, and gatherings are banned, including religious events.
The majority of child development centres have resumed limited meetings; these are commonly small groups of children in homes and/or small groups of youths at the centres. The remaining few are closed for safety, and staff members there continue to make home visits and phone calls to check on families. Church partners are working to provide psychological support to help the children and families who are experiencing anxiety caused by the pandemic. We are grateful to report that staff members have distributed over 284,500 food packs and nearly 72,000 hygiene kits and have provided medical support to almost 83,000 individuals.
Rwanda is recording peak numbers in daily average COVID cases, with 983 per day as of July 15, up from just 35 in late May. So far, enough COVID-19 vaccines have been administered to vaccinate over 2 per cent of its 12.7 million people. Due to the huge increase in cases, Rwanda’s government has sent the country back into lockdown, which includes only allowing essential travel, closing businesses that don’t provide essential services and shutting down schools and offices.
Child development centres in Rwanda are open for normal program activities but are working to comply with local COVID-19 prevention guidelines, meaning in many centres they meet in shifts or outdoors. They have been able to deliver over 88,500 food packs and 786,000 hygiene kits to children and families. Additionally, they have helped over 62,000 individuals obtain medical support.
Under its new president, Tanzania has begun to take steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Masks are recommended, though the country has yet to begin a vaccination campaign. Tanzania has been in communication with the World Health Organization on vaccines and how to access them, however.
Compassion child development centres are open and holding normal activities. Hygiene kits and multiple hand-washing stations are available at every centre. Classrooms and playground equipment are regularly sanitized. Staff members continue to educate children on COVID-19 prevention. Since the beginning of the pandemic, they have been able to distribute nearly 69,000 food packs and 106,000 hygiene kits to families and provide medical support to over 37,500 individuals.
The rate of COVID-19 infection in Togo is increasing, with an average of 52 cases reported daily as of July 15. This is up from 12 recorded in June. Togo has administered enough doses to fully vaccinate around 2 per cent of its population of 8.6 million people. A State of Health Emergency remains in effect through at least mid-September. This means that most businesses remain open but with restrictions such as masking and social distancing in effect everywhere. Churches remain closed and religious activities are more heavily restricted.
The majority of Compassion centres in Togo have either been able to resume normal activities or gather in small groups. In communities where centres have not been able to reopen, partner church staff continue to make regular home visits to monitor the health of children and families, deliver curricula to them and pray with them. Staff members have been able to safely deliver nearly 618,000 food packs and almost 401,000 hygiene kits to families, in addition to providing medical support to nearly 89,000 individuals.
COVID-19 cases in Uganda have fallen to a daily average of 444 as of July 15, down from 1,300 in June. A strict lockdown remains in effect until at least the end of July. Schools are still closed, church services are suspended and travel between districts is currently illegal. As of July 19, Uganda has fully vaccinated just over 1 per cent of its population of 47.1 million people. The country has so far been unable to obtain many vaccine doses, which has contributed to this small number. Uganda is receiving aid from the United States to support its vaccine program.
Most Compassion development centres in Uganda are closed and conducting home visits. Only 27 centers are currently meeting in small groups, and none are fully open. Staff members have been able to distribute over 122,500 food packs and over 514,000 hygiene kits to Compassion-assisted families, and they have provided medical support to over 132,000 individuals.