The novel coronavirus pandemic has seen countries take various steps to check the spread of the virus, including social distancing, restrictions on movement and total “lockdowns”. The social, economic and health consequences of these measures are likely to be prolonged.
For persons affected by Hansen’s disease and their families, the impact has been severe: depriving them of their livelihoods and access to health services, and exposing them to the possibility of further stigma and discrimination should they contract the disease caused by the virus, COVID-19.
Sasakawa Health Foundation is committed to providing support that meets the real needs of persons affected by Hansen’s disease and their families in these challenging times, and in a way that contributes to solving the issues they face on a sustainable basis.
Drawing on our experience of supporting and collaborating with organizations of persons affected by Hansen’s disease over many years, we are conduting COVID-19 response projects focusing on the following three activities:
1. Responding to direct needs: Provide relief supplies, share information on measures against COVID-19 and on self-care for Hansen’s disease.
2. Advocacy: Ensure that people have access to existing government assistance and call for additional help.
3. Information dissemination: Communicate details of activities and outcomes via SNS, use this information to help raise funds via crowdfunding.