By the time coronavirus disease of 2019 broke out in Uganda in 2020 around March. The country was put under total lockdown to combat the spread of the virus. On 18 March, public gatherings including places of worship, pubs, weddings, music shows, rallies, and cultural meetings were suspended for 32 days with immediate effect. Foreigners and Ugandans arriving in the country were put under 14-day mandatory quarantine. This was done in hotels designated by the government in Entebbe, about an hour from Kampala, but the stay was paid for by the citizens themselves.
COVID-19 to orphans in Uganda did more harm the good to them. Orphans face problems like emotional problems, low pro-social behavior, peer problems as well as to conduct problems.
Below are the impacts of COVID -19 on the orphans in Uganda since the first outbreak.
Children always have a delicate lifestyle. Due to COVID -19, it was hard for people to access medical facilities and the child suffered from different diseases that are to say headache, malaria, burns, allergy, flu, cough, diarrhea, tonsillitis, and wounds. Getting the medication was hard. It was expensive to invite a doctor to the orphanage.
The limited funds also become a big issue. Donor aid and charitable works support orphanages. They were unable to do charity and also the donors were unable to send in funds as another cut the sponsorship to the orphans this led to many orphanages closing up as it becomes hard to feed the children, provide health care for the children.
Domestic struggles in the family, high prices of food, and a shortage of medical care led to malnutrition to the children and displacement of the children to families that can support them. Leaving many children in orphanages as they don’t have any families to take them in. many children died because of hunger and fever as some kids feed on special kids of food staff and are not accessible and if it was the prices were high and could not afford it.
People were unwilling to volunteer for free. It was hard for orphanages to guarantee salaries to pay those who were working for them. This limited volunteers from coming to work since there were no transport means and also unstable payments. And some had to lay off some works to be able to cater for the orphans.
Orphans were unable to go to schools to study due to the closure of schools in the pandemic. Many orphans may not be able to go back to school as their sponsors pulled out in supporting them and for others, their supporting time has expired. This will leave very many out of school limiting them to a bright future in life.
Material things come from charitable works or organizations. That is to say clothing, shoes, and others. This left many orphans with nothing to put on. Some of the donors are to be able to donate to any orphanage home. They base on the number of donations one makes. This has made many orphanages close up due to limited funds.
Many families have forced orphans into early marriages. This is since they were unable to provide food for themselves and other basic needs.
Child labor was on the rise. Forced on the streets to look for money through selling bananas and masks. This was to provide for their families putting them a risk of getting the virus.
In a nutshell, COVID-19 to orphans in Uganda faced a lot of challenges during the pandemic. Restoring the lost hope in then. That is to say guidance and counseling, food staff, health care, and material donations. Sponsorships, donations, and fundraising can help. This will at least restore the lost hope and for them to know that at least somebody somewhere still cares for them.