Pandemics Cause Breakdown in Social Support Systems- Says HePDO Director


By Momodou Jarju

The Executive Director of Health Promotion and Development Organisation (HePDO), Omar Ceesay, has said that during pandemics, social support systems are usually broken down.

Ceesay, who was speaking last Thursday as his-led organisation provided donation items to needy people, added that when this happens, people who rely on their family members for support are affected.

“People are at home. They may find it very difficult to get their feedings, and during pandemics, there is a breakdown in social support systems,” he said.

The affected people he referred to are the elderly and the physically challenged.

Thus, he said as an institution, they felt it necessary and important to mobilize resources, identify the affected people, as aforementioned, in various communities and provide them with the necessary support.

HePDO is the latest of a plethora of institutions that has joined the fight against Covid-19 through donation of food and sanitation items.

Speaking further, Ceesay said staffers of the organisation contributed money, plus the board of the organisation as well as friends and partners of the institution, for the purchase of the donation items.

“What we did is, we set up criteria, and we went to communities and check those who meet our criteria. And key among our criteria were those who are 55 years and above and are not gainfully employed. They don’t have immediate family support or they have parental conditions,” he said.

Ceesay said their gesture is not one of, but rather they intend to continue supporting all those they have identified to benefit from their initiative.

He added that their objective is to impact the lives of the affected people- the elderly and physically challenged.

“They will be put in a database and other than what we provide today, we will also be going to them to provide support health services; checking blood pressure,” he said.

Nonetheless, about D66,000 was quantified spent in purchasing the donated items, which included 50 bags of rice of 25kg, 50 gallons of 5 liter cooking oil, and packs of detergents to the 50 beneficiaries.

Meanwhile, also speaking at the ceremony was HePDO’s Program Manager Pa Yuspha Sowe, who shared similar views.