TANZANIA: Episcopal Conference Trains Special Need Groups on COVID-19 Prevention

By Paschal Norbert

TABORA, SEPTEMBER 21, 2021 (CISA)-The Tanzania Episcopal Conference (TEC), and in partnership with Norwegian Church Aid (NCA) has trained persons living with disabilities on COVID-19 preventive measures in the Catholic Archdiocese of Tabora.

In a news post on September 18, Fr Charles Kitima, the Secretary General of TEC, acknowledged the devastating effects of the pandemic and addressed the need to protect people who are differently abled from contracting the virus.

“There has been a wave of COVID-19 and we have considered people with disabilities especially the deaf and blind because we want everyone to be informed about Coronavirus. We must go together without anyone being left behind because Covid19 does not choose. It affects anyone, so everyone must know how to protect themselves and others,” said Fr Kitima.

Fr Chrisantus Ndaga, the Projects Manager at TEC, elucidated on the challenges that come with training special groups and the importance of working together with competent healthcare providers and professionals.

“Training the deaf and blind people is not an easy task for there is a communication barrier. In this training, we have used experts and professionals who are able to use sign language and translate symbols for the deaf and braille for the visually impaired. However, they will be trained through practicals on the protective measures and at the end of the training we shall support them with masks and sanitisers for their daily use,” he explained.

The Secretary General of TEC, in addition, explained the significance of safeguarding the sanctity of human life and the inherent dignity of the human person in ensuring all special needs groups are not left behind in the fight to combat the Coronavirus.

“The Church values human life which is a gift from God. This life has great value and we should respect it. Disability doesn’t mean that one is less human. They have the right to get all information on the Coronavirus pandemic and hence be ambassadors to others. TEC has provided education to various groups and now we have seen the need for special groups so that they can protect themselves and others against viral infections,” Fr Kitima emphasized.

Fr Ndaga clarified that the training at Tabora is the beginning of the mission of the Catholic Church in Tanzania, which aims at reaching out to those in need especially people living with disabilities and to provide education on Covid-19.