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Sense International Uganda is working to support children and adults with deafblindness during the COVID-19 crisis

20 July 2020

Aida, sitting outside with two other women, learning about COVID-19

The public health measures in response to COVID-19 in countries around the world have affected all aspects of society. For the families of children and adults with deafblindness, who already face many additional barriers, from accessing healthcare to communication, accessibility, social stigma and financial pressures, these restrictions have brought about even greater challenges.

In Uganda, the response to COVID-19 included closing schools, places of worship and markets, restrictions on public transport and social distancing. These measures restricted collective social support systems for children and adults with deafblindness, such as religious institutions and schools, as well as affecting people’s livelihoods.

The lockdown has also impacted the ability for people with deafblindness to access clear information about COVID-19 and meet their basic food and medical needs.

Sense International Uganda is working with partner organisations, including the Uganda Parents with Deafblind Children Association (UPDBCA), to determine the impact of COVID-19 on the families of children and adults with deafblindness in Uganda, to continue to provide the right support for families, and to influence government.

A woman with deafblindness in Uganda told us: “I am staying with my husband who is also deafblind. We have been moving out to work for people in the community, to earn a living and be able to eat. Now that there is a limitation of movement, and advice to maintain social distance, we can no longer go out to work for people. It is becoming very hard for us to even get food to eat.”

The grandmother of Ann, a girl with deafblindness, told us: “I am the care giver to Ann and am able to do this with support from a motorcyclist who earns money by carrying people to different destinations. But the situation of lockdown, where people are not travelling and the restriction of motorcycles not being able to carry passengers, now makes it difficult for my son to sustain the family needs.”

Sense International Uganda is working to empower people with deafblindness and their families to live fulfilling and meaningful lives. Please give an urgent gift today to help people with deafblindness during the coronavirus crisis.

Read more about how COVID-19 is affecting children and adults with deafblindness and their families in Uganda:

Aida’s Story 

Saddam’s Story 

First published: Tuesday 18 June 2013
Last updated: Friday 6 December 2019