The rate of confirmed cases of COVID-19 infected patients in Cameron have been rising exponentially with several deaths already registered. Among the measures taken to mitigate the spread by the government was the general restriction of movement, limitation of public gatherings and meetings, closure of all schools etc.
While such measures are important in contributing to limit the spread of the virus, some segments of the population that survive daily on the activities they carry out before being able to sustain their livelihood are now faced with more hardship.
Among this segment of the population in Cameroon that is particularly affected by the COVID-19 outbreak and the restrictive measures to curb it are the Internally Displaced People affected by the conflict in the Anglophone regions of Cameroon who have taken refuge in other towns.
Many of these IDPs live in difficult conditions generally occupying a one room house where as many as 12 people may live. Such living conditions are convenient for the rapid spread of COVID-19
It is within context that RELUFA, an organisation fighting to end systemic causes of Hunger and Poverty rrecently decided to sensitize IDPs in Douala, Littoral region of Cameroon on COVID -19 awareness, prevention and protection while also providing individual and collective COVID -19 items for them.
RELUFA worked with 160 family heads or representatives of families touching close to 800.000 other family members all living in Douala as internally Displaced people affected by the war in the North West and South West regions.
Although covid-19 is a current scare, RELUFA did not only talk about COVID-19 but decided to also give the IDPs food and non-food items given the fact that they most often go hungry and equally lack basic necessities.
The program is supported by the Presbyterian Disaster Assistance and Presbyterian Hunger Program of PCUSA
Worthy of note is the fact that RELUFA has been providing food assistance, skills training and education support to these IDPs in the different regions. With the COVID-19 outbreak these IDPs are experiencing further stress and hardship.
The organization has carried out- massive sensitization reaching out to the IDPs and also giving them food and non- food assistance.
According to the organization, awareness, prevention of the COVID-19 virus and coping support to the IDPs is key at this crucial moment as cases of infected patients continue to rise exponentially. =