An informative request for prayer from a Chadian Christian leader who knows his country very well. Please pray for our brothers and sisters in Chad:
“Here in Chad we have 7 confirmed cases as of yesterday evening. Cases were confirmed as early as 19th March 2020 so we expect that with the length of the incubation period more cases will be confirmed. The government of Chad has acted fast to control it by closing schools, bars, restaurants and other places where people gather including worship places. The airport and other forms of mass transport are closed, as well as non-essential businesses.
The Churches responded fast by heeding to the orders and now meet in homes and small groups. The Islamic Affairs Council also respond by submission to the government orders. However some radical mosques refused to shut down. That has irritated the government, which is tightening measures.
It is feared that with Chad, we might know a worse scenario because of its poor governance and corruption. All our neighboring countries have confirmed cases. Although borders are closed, people sneak in and enter. Besides, the Chadian culture isn’t prepared for a total confinement if that would be the case: people eat in groups, mourn the dead as groups, etc…
The Consequences of this COVID are great:
• Many Church leaders don’t know how to pastor their flock in a period like this. Very, very few Churches have online services and social media groups services. In the rural areas it is more complicated. People are told to worship at home but they are not at all prepared for that.
• Economically, many people have to stay at home whereas these earn their living each day by working out in public spaces.
• Some Muslims forced by security and defense forces to shut down their mosques have accused the government of allowing non-Muslims officials to ban Islam.
• Chad’s health system is ill prepared to handle massive confirmed cases. The infrastructure simply isn’t in place.
• Chadian homes are open and Chadian live not inside a house but outside in their compound which makes it very difficult to control the spread of the virus.
• Very soon it will be the rainy season and everything gets more complicated and difficult in that time.
The Challenges facing the Health system:
• Lack of adequate and basic materials (respirators, protective gear, etc…)
• Inadequate prevention measures and control of infections within health centers themselves
• Capacity building for health professionals
• Follow up, testing, contact tracing of Chadians who have returned from foreign countries, such as students from Cameroon
Even as Chad faces the COVID-19 pandemic, Boko Haram attacked and killed up 100 soldiers. That irritated the government which has launched a counter offensive. There is fear the terrorists will exploit the confinement to its advantages.
The season is very hot, and difficult for sick people.
Toward that end we are helping to sensitize the Churches about COVID-19, offering training in small groups and digital ministry, distributing audio bibles to some leaders, printing and distributing Bible Study handouts.
Thank you for your prayers.”