We are turning our attention to The Aged Family Uganda, (www.tafu.org/) an NGO in Kampala, Uganda. TAFU provides support for elderly people at home and in hospital.
Elderly people in Uganda receive little attention. Yet their role, especially grandmothers, is an essential part of the growth and wellbeing of the country. As HIV/AIDs has left many children without parents, it is grandmothers who step in to the caregiving role. It is TAFU’s mission to care for elderly people, check in on them, and advocate for the them.
In the April 2020, little was known about the spread of COVID. When Nataria Namusisi, 82, in the Nakulabye Kimwany town in Luweero came down with the flu, her family was concerned how this would affect them. Right away, her granddaughter Rose was brought home from school to help care for Nataria. Rose’s mother informed a family member of the illness, this family member also happened to be the Chair of the COVID task force.
The town of Kimwany is a bustling trading centre and news of a person with symptoms of the flu could result in a full quarantine for the entire town. To prevent this, the Chair of the taskforce isolated Nataria on her own, concealing her illness. Food and water were delivered to her on a ramp 20 meters from her house, and a temporary pit latrine was made for her in the back of her house. Nataria lived this way for 6 months.
It is the role of TAFU volunteers to check in with elderly people regularly. During a routine visit, Nataria’s absence was noted. It was then, in October they discovered Nataria had been in forced isolation by her family for 6 months. No one outside of her family knew of the situation.
The volunteer had personal protective equipment and entered Nataria’s home. The smell of rotting food was overpowering. Nataria was taken by ambulance to the quarantine center and given a COVID test. It was negative. After another 14-day quarantine, Nataria was allowed to return home in November.
TAFU wants to prevent situations like this from happening. To do this, they plan to hire 20 people to care for 60 patients. This plan includes training and isolation for 15 days. They are asking for $6500 USD to roll out this program.
Their fundraising campaign is hosted by Global Giving and can receive donations as small as $10.00. The campaign begins on Monday, April 5, 2021.
A direct donation can be given at Global Giving: https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/deploying-of-20-caregivers-to-covid-19-patrients/