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DR Congo COVID-19 Survivors Battle Stigma And Discrimination

A health worker tests a woman for the coronavirus during a mass testing in an effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the Kibera slum of Nairobi, Kenya, May 26, 2020. REUTERS/Baz Ratner

As coronavirus cases accelerate in Africa, many patients who have recovered from the virus are facing stigmatization and discrimination.

Despite beating the infectious disease, many still live under its cloud. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, survivors battle against people’s denial of the virus and stigmatisation against the sick.

Thembo Kash, recently recovered from COVID-19: “I am living proof: the disease exists. And I will ask people who still have doubts to be very careful, because I can confirm that I suffered.”

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According to reports, people battling the virus have been threatened and ostracised in their communities. They face constant suspicion that they are spreaders of the disease.

Dieunit Kanyinda, is also a survivor: “There’s the stigma, when you know it’s COVID, you’re stigmatised. My children were nicknamed COVID in the neighbourhood, they’re called “corona”, so when a child goes out to buy something from a corner store, they call my children “corona. That’s the kind of behaviour that drives people into hiding.”

To aid combat the spread of the coronavirus, the European Union recently announced that DRC will benefit from a 19.5 million euros humanitarian aid.

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Written by PH

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