Thank you for taking the time to read this blog. I am a Tanzanian living in the UK. I am riddled with guilt for living in a developed country with healthcare and a COVID-19 vaccination programme. I am sharing my story and that of friends and family in Tanzania, people are afraid to speak out against President Magufuli as they watch their loved ones die. Magufuli’s government is denying the existence of COVID-19 and the propaganda in the country is the virus has been cured through prayer with Tanzania being free of the Corona Virus. Tanzania is one of the worlds poorest countries and I recognise the comfort prayer can provide. This is why I believe Tanzania needs prayer and science to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.
President John Magufuli has continued to play down the seriousness of the disease even as neighbouring countries such as Kenya and Uganda have closed borders and implemented lockdowns. The government last released numbers on COVID-19 in April 2020, there had been 509 positive cases, 21 deaths and 183 recoveries – a figure unchanged to date. The Tanzanian authorities have refused to participate in the COVAX programme dismissing vaccines and instead advocating herbal remedies. Dr. Tedros Adhanom, Director General of the World Health Organisation (WHO) said, “we will not end the pandemic anywhere unless we end it everywhere”.
Please help, share the plight of Tanzanians on social media, write to your MP, contact your church (President Magufuli is a devout Christian) – anything! The lives of nearly 60 million citizens are at risk not to mention the economic cost that will plunge millions into further poverty. In speaking out for the plight of Tanzanians we are making sure we take a collective approach to bringing the COVID-19 crises to an end.
Please do also follow me on Twitter @VaccineTanzania