COVID-19 in sign language – helping deaf people in Tanzania

By: Johnny Baltzersen, chair, CICED 

With the arrival of the coronavirus pandemic in Tanzania, the deaf organization CHAVITA set out to ensure that the deaf community in the country had as much and as good information about COVID-19 as possible.

With CISU funds behind it, CICED was able to send out around 200,000 DKK for campaign and lobbying work over a three-month effort from May to the end of July.

CHAVITA succeeded in providing COVID-19 relevant information with sign language interpretation on all national TV stations. Together with a team of IT experts, information and guidance for better hygiene was developed and distributed via various social media channels.

The money was also enough to reach the poorest deaf people in 5 regions with 17,550 face masks, 6000 bottles of disinfectant and 93500 sets of protective gloves.

According to WHO data, Tanzania, with a population of just under 58 million people, is so far faring well during the corona pandemic.

Although the numbers are hardly complete, there are a few. 7.9. only 509 COVID-19 infections have been registered, including, as far as we know, no deaf people.

Links to TV programs about COVID-19 with sign language interpretation:

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