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Togo: helping homeless people cope with Covid-19

Health Prevention
Togo

Around 15,000 people are homeless Togo’s capital, Lomé. Humanity & Inclusion has been running a project to help them cope with the coronavirus pandemic.

Awareness flash mob in a market place.

Awareness flash mob in a market place. | © HI

The Covid-19 crisis has exacerbated the plight of vulnerable people, especially those who are homeless. Lockdowns and social distancing measures have deprived them of support; they are now experiencing more isolation, insecurity and malnourishment than ever.

Promoting shielding measures

Humanity & Inclusion (HI) teams have been conducting outreach work to limit the spread of the virus in Lomé and the city of Sanvee Condji. Between April 2021 and February 2022, the following actions were implemented:

  • HI installed public showers and more than 80,000 showers were taken, with an average of 210 people per day benefiting from the service.
  • With the help of awareness-raising sessions, almost 16,000 homeless people were taught how to protect themselves and others from covid.
  • A thousand information posters on  Covid-19 prevention and vaccination were produced and distributed
  • More than 25,000 facemasks and 15,000 containers of hydro-alcoholic gel were distributed.
  • More than 8,000 hygiene kits were distributed, containing hydro-alcoholic gel, face masks, toothpaste, a tooth brush, soap and a sponge, as well as sanitary pads.
  • Around 100 peer educators were trained to share good practices and raise the awareness of others.
  • Almost 1,000 people were vaccinated.

Providing medical and psychological support

Two health surveillance teams, each with a nurse, a psychologist and a midwife, conducted night rounds in Lomé. They provided medical and psychosocial care to over 15,000 people. Whenever possible, medical conditions, such as headaches, sores, rashes, malaria and sexually transmitted diseases, were treated directly on site. Thanks to these activities, more than 8,500 people accessed healthcare between April 2021 and February 2022.

As part of the outreach work organised by HI, more than 4,500 people were given psychosocial support, as there is a real need among homeless people to talk about their past bad experiences and their day-to-day life on the street.

"We provide homeless people with psychological support because they are a sector of the population that feels vulnerable and neglected. When we offer them specialised services that are otherwise inaccessible to them, they feel seen. It is part of HI's mission to give hope to people who feel forgotten", explains Issa Afo, HI psychologist.

Date published: 30/03/22

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