Dr. Georges Bwelle

Three CNN Heroes working in Africa halted their usual efforts to dedicate their time to slowing the spread of the virus.

In Cameroon Dr. Georges Bwelle and his team are providing supplies and protective gear to those in need.
“We decided to stop our mobile clinic to focus only (on sensitizing the) population about Covid-19, about how to apply the protective measure,” Bwelle said. “And offer to all people that we meet protective kits.”

Their kits contain essential items such as hand sanitizer, soap, masks and food. To date, the group has distributed them to 35,000 people and 7,000 health care workers all over Cameroon.

The organization focuses on getting kits to the most vulnerable, including those living in orphanages and nursing homes and internationally displaced people.

“I think ASCOVIME more will contribute to reduce the number of patients with coronavirus,” Bwelle said. “I hope this work will reduce the number of people who die due to coronavirus. That’s my dream

CNN Heroes working in Africa

In Ethiopia — where the number of active cases and deaths have been on the rise since mid-June — 2019 CNN Hero of the Year Freweini Mebrahtu has shifted gears during the pandemic.

Mebrahtu’s factory normally manufactures reusable menstrual pads for girls in Ethiopia, allowing them to stay in school. Through partner organization Dignity Period, she helps distribute the pads and raise awareness on the issue.

Freweini Mebrahtu temporarily transformed her business to provide — and push for — Covid-19 safety measures in Ethiopia.
Freweini Mebrahtu temporarily transformed her business to provide — and push for — Covid-19 safety measures in Ethiopia.
Since March, however, Mebrahtu has been working to manufacture masks and get them into the hands of those who need them most.

Dr. Georges Bwelle

“We have produced over 50,000 cloth masks to help out the most vulnerable women and children in our community,” she said.

She and her team distribute the masks along the main thoroughfare of Mekelle, a capital city in northern Ethiopia. Many women sell fruit and vegetables on this street and are in contact with people all day long, making masks essential for their safety.

In Kenya’s remote coastal areas, the reality of battling the pandemic exists alongside the struggle of living in poverty.

Umra Omar sees these struggles firsthand. She and her nonprofit, Safari Doctors, travel by air, sea and land to bring free medical care to people living along the country’s remote coastline.

Freweini Mebrahtu

Umra Omar and her team are bringing medical care and crucial awareness to remote areas of Kenya.
Umra Omar and her team are bringing medical care and crucial awareness to remote areas of Kenya.

“Where we work, jobs are definitely what we call ‘casual labor,’ as somebody going out to look for their daily bread that very same day that it’s needed,” said Omar, a 2016 CNN Hero. “So, the Covid-19 pandemic has definitely put a big dent on that one. It’s like, ‘I might die of hunger before I die of corona.'”

Omar and her team began social distancing measures, added wash stations at their clinics and wear extra protective gear. They also are spreading crucial awareness throughout the community.
Source CNN