E-mail from Bishop Kevin Dowling

to Fr Brett and the Parish

Dear Peter,

It was good to hear from you. I am really concerned for you and your people. Your situation is so much worse than here, but we are weeks behind you. Our peak in the infection rate is only expected to happen around the end of September. There is a lot of controversy about the whole issue in the country at the moment.

I hope and pray you and your parishioners have been able to keep away from this awful virus.

I am so grateful for your great support, and for your latest grant. Please express my gratitude to your wonderful people in any way that is possible.

I am not sure if I briefed you on the particular response we at Tapologo are making during the pandemic. In addition to keeping our clinics and OVC centres open and running = for example caring for over 900 kids in lockdown when they can't go to school - we were asked to take on another task.

Our nurses and carers - the clinic and OVC carers - were trained over 2 days for screening in the shack settlements and villages where our personnel work. This is to assist the Government Health Department in a screening drive with the objective of identifying people who need to be tested and treated. Until we really ramp up screening and testing on a massive scale in this country of 56 million people, we will never know what the extent of the pandemic is in the country.

This screening project for Tapologo has not been without its problems, e.g. protective equipment for our carers. Another major problem is that the Health Department has not provided our carers with the instrument to take temperatures. They have to work for the moment using questionnaires and trying to ascertain if someone needs testing from the questions they ask.

But they are working very well. On Monday, for example, one of our village teams did screening on 200 people. I hope they will gradually get better equipment, so that they can offer better support to the Health Department.

So, your very welcome grant will help us provide for our carers - especially in terms of their safety. like having enough masks and gloves to change frequently.

Thanks again, Peter, for your wonderful care and support for us. What a gift you and your people have been to us over the past years!

Please take care, as we pray for a change in this terrible time.

With my good wishes,

Kevin

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