Unwavering Courage

In the quaint town of Massama, Kambia District, nestled between picturesque landscapes, lived a remarkable young woman named Hannah Dumbuya. Hannah had a warm smile and an infectious spirit that touched the hearts of all who knew her. She was born with a physical disability that required her to use a clutch for mobility, but her determination to lead a fulfilling life was unwavering.

As the news of the COVID-19 pandemic spread, anxiety swept through the town like a cold gust of wind. Like many others, Hannah knew she needed to take extra precautions due to her vulnerable health condition. She isolated herself at home, away from the social interactions that had always brought her joy. Months passed, and she longed for a sense of normalcy to return.

Then, one day, a glimmer of hope emerged—the announcement of the COVID-19 vaccine. Hannah understood that the vaccine was her ticket to reclaiming her life. However, as someone with a disability, she was hesitant about the vaccination process. Her mind was a whirlwind of questions and uncertainties.

With the support of her caring family and close friends, Hannah decided to take the plunge and schedule herself to take the COVID-19 vaccine. The day arrived, and she rolled up to the vaccination center with her parents by her side. Inside, she observed the bustling crowd, all eager to receive their doses. While she was excited to protect herself and others, a part of her felt vulnerable, wondering if there would be any specific accommodations for people with disabilities.

Approaching the vaccination center, Hannah was greeted by a friendly nurse named Sarah. Hannah shared her concerns, and to her delight, Sarah smiled warmly and assured her that they were well-prepared to accommodate individuals with disabilities. Hannah’s anxiety slowly melted away, replaced with a newfound sense of confidence.

As she was wheeled to the vaccination area, Hannah’s mind wandered to the countless healthcare workers who had worked tirelessly to give out the vaccine. She felt immense gratitude for their dedication and compassion. In that moment, she understood that getting vaccinated was not just about her but about being part of a collective effort to protect her community.

The vaccination itself was a breeze, thanks to Sarah’s gentle touch and comforting words. Hannah experienced a mix of emotions as she received her shot: relief, hope, and a sense of empowerment. She knew this was a step towards reclaiming the life she missed dearly.

In the following days, Hannah experienced some mild side effects, but she bore them with grace and humor, sharing her journey on social media to encourage others with disabilities to get vaccinated too. Her story resonated with many.

Weeks passed, and the vaccination rates in Massama Village, Kambia District, rose steadily. Hannah’s was finally able to give her friends great pleasure in organizing accessible events, advocating for disability rights, and inspiring others with her unwavering courage.

Emmanuel Ogundeyi

Emmanuel Abiodun Ogundeyi Website Administrator Directorate of Health Security And Emergency - MoHS Communication Department