Sarah Pelaji

Tanzania Episcopal Conference (TEC) has trained people with special needs (blind and deaf) on Covid19 prevention.

The training was conducted in Tabora Archdiocese and coordinated by TEC in partnership with Norwegian Church Aid (NCA).

Opening the training, the Secretary General of the Tanzania Episcopal Conference Rev. Charles Kitima said the Catholic Church provides spiritual and physical services to mankind. Therefore, by valuing human dignity, She can never leave any group behind especially those with special needs.

“There has been a wave of  Covid19 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,” he said.

“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 rights 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,” he explained.

The Project Manager of the Tanzania Episcopal Conference TEC Rev. Chrisantus Ndaga said that the aim of the Catholic Church is to reach out to those in need and provide education on Covid19  as the Church is not only in spiritual service.

He said that the training in Tabora is the beginning of the mission of Catholic Church in Tanzania for the aim is to meet most people with disabilities in the country through dioceses.

“Training the deaf and blind people is not an easy task for there is communication barrier. In this training, we have used experts and professionals who are able to use and  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 sanitizers for their daily use,” he explained.

Teaching practically, Sister Florida Boniface who is a nurse at Tanzania Episcopal Conference illustrated to them on how to use masks, wash their hands with soap and running clean water; and how to use hand sanitizers regularly, especially where there is no running water. She also insisted that they should avoid unnecessary public gatherings.

Rev. Paul Chobo  who is the Chairman of the Health Department  at Tanzania Episcopal Conference TEC  educated them on protective measures  while  insisting that they be  vaccinated so as to reduce risk of death if they became infected.

The participants thanked the Catholic Church for providing Coronavirus pandemic education to them as they have noticed that on several occasions the community leaves them behind in accessing important information due to their condition.

In concluding the training, Father Ndaga called on various development partners and the government to work together to provide education on the Coronavirus pandemic to all people, especially those with special needs, so that no one is left behind in the fight against the global pandemic.

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