Gay rights activists get Covid-19 protective supplies

Over 86 LGBTI and mainstream human rights organisations in Uganda have received supplies of Personal Protective Equipment from the human rights organisation Defenders Protection Initiative (DPI).

From the African Human Rights Media Network

Ms Leah Munokoch, programmes director at Defenders Protection Initiative Uganda (DPI), delivers Covid-19 supplies to UhspaUganda staff in Kampala recently.

By Kikonyogo Kivumbi

Supplies for fighting Covid-19 help human rights defenders keep their office premises open, with staff and visitors following strict  procedures to contain the spread of the coronavirus. Those procedures are spelled out in Public Health (Control of Covid-19) Rules, 2020.

So far 33 Ugandans have died of Covid-19. Amid an ongoing relaxation of restrictions, cases of new infections are still being reported, especially in the overcrowded parts of Kampala City.

In response to those risks, the registered non-governmental organisation DPI is expanding on the security and safety measures that it typically offers to civil society’s human rights defenders.

Ms Lean Munokoch, the programmes director at DPI, said the supplies include face masks and shields, sanitizers and medical infrared temperature measurement guns.

The deliveries come at a time when masks and other anti-Covid-19 materials are in short supply, especially among vulnerable and marginalised persons in Uganda. Many people cannot afford to buy a mask. Uganda government has started the distribution of free masks in some parts of the country to curb the spread of Covid-19.

Joseph Kawesi, executive director of Come Out Post Test Club, wears a DPI-supplied mask at work.

Kikonyogo Kivumbi, the author of this article, is the executive director of the Uganda Health and Science Press Association.

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Written by Colin Stewart

Colin Stewart is a 45-year journalism veteran living in Southern California. After his retirement from paid newspaper work in 2011, he launched Erasing 76 Crimes and helped with the Spirit of 76 campaign that assembled a multi-national team of 26 LGBTI rights activists to advocate for change during the International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C., in July 2012. He is the president of the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation, which supports LGBTQ+ rights advocacy journalism, including the Erasing 76 Crimes news site and the African Human Rights Media Network. Contact him via Twitter @76crimes or by email at Mailing address: 21 Marseille, Laguna Niguel CA 92677 USA.

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