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bookmark_borderAMERICA/PERU – La Voz de la Selva, the Catholic radio that listens and spreads the cry and hopes of the Amazon

Iquitos – “We are honored for the recognition of this award and at the same time we feel committed to pursuing the same line as our leader, Oraldo Reátegui director, presenter and press officer of the Amazonian radio station La Voz de la Selva , who died due to Covid-19 on July, 1”. This is how Rubén Meza, in charge of programming the station, who has been a part of the station for many years, reports the news of the award assigned to the Radio.
From the note sent to Fides by the Centro Amazónico de Antropología y Aplicación Práctica it is clear that, on the occasion of the national bicentenary, on October 1, Journalist’s Day, the Association of Journalists of Peru recognized the work of almost half century of the radio station of the Apostolic Vicariate of Iquitos with the Willah Kamayuc, recognition for the practice of journalistic values in its informative work.
On April 14, 2022, La Voz de la Selva will celebrate 50 years since its creation, years of work in search of truth and justice. “The name of this station is in itself its motto, its battle cry, because the man and woman of the Amazon know that these microphones are there to hear their voice, their requests, but also their joys and hopes”, says Meza. “The challenge is to continue to demonstrate that we are different. A radio belonging to the Catholic Church, which, as indicated by the bishop of Iquitos, Msgr. Miguel Ángel Cadenas, is the social voice of the Church. “In this historical context, more than ever, responsible journalism has been essential to keep the population informed and explain not only the data, but also what is known about Covid-19 and its symptoms”, Reátegui used to say.
The social focus of the radio also played an important role. From La Voz de la Selva, the solidarity campaign of the Apostolic Vicariate of Iquitos was promoted to raise funds thanks to which it was possible to purchase four oxygen plants to help those who needed it most to deal with the pandemic.
The Amazon broadcaster was founded in 1972 from the merger of two radios that belonged to the Catholic Church: that of the Apostolic Vicariate of San José del Amazonas, based in Indiana, and the one in the city of Iquitos, belonging to the Apostolic Vicariate of Iquitos.

bookmark_borderAFRICA/UGANDA – Covid spreads amid vaccine shortages and severe economic repercussions

Kampala – Uganda is experiencing a second lockdown. After the first full closure in spring 2020, the government ordered a new quarantine. Officially, the health authorities of Kampala declare more than 88 thousand positive cases and more than 2,200 deaths. “The reality is more complex – explains to Fides Dominique Atim Corti, doctor and president of the Corti Foundation, the organization that supports the Lacor Hospital, in the diocese of Gulu, in the north of the country. The Ugandan population is very young and therefore the virus strikes less forcefully. That said, we are seeing cases of children who get sick. Some die. We do not know if they die only from coronavirus or even from other diseases. This confirms that Covid is present and is spreading”. Until a few months ago, ordinary people did not care about the new pathology and labeled it as a Western disease. In recent weeks, however, the situation has changed. “People see elderly parents die, but also some young people – continues Dominique Corti -. They understand that the virus is among them and they are beginning to worry”.
The lockdown is also affecting the economy. Means of transport have been stopped. Only one third of the employees work in offices. Informal commercial activities have been banned. “It is clear that this blocking of activities has profound effect on economic activity – observes Dominique Corti -. People who live off informal businesses find themselves without sources of income. Salaries are often low and it is difficult to support a family. Medicines are not easy to find and they are often expensive. Many sick people give up on treatment so as not to burden their families with debts – continues Dominique Corti -. In homes, contagion is easy. The spaces are cramped and people are forced to live close to each other”. Faced with this pandemic, the health system is struggling. In public hospitals, everything is lacking. Patients need to get medicine, bandages, etc… if they want to be operated.
This does not happen in private hospitals, but the fees are high and inaccessible to ordinary citizens. At Lacor Hospital, the situation is complex. We had to put into operation the systems to produce oxygen in a continuous cycle, which we send only to the Covid ward.
There are also difficulties with drugs”. Vaccines are difficult to find.
After the arrival of a first stock thanks to Covax, Kampala found itself short of vaccines: “The current risk is that the disease spreads massively”, concludes Dominique. “Drug and vaccine resistant variants could emerge.” As a doctor, I can only appeal: Europe and America should send doses of vaccine here. Treating Covid in Africa means preventing its spread to the rest of the world”. - The Best Popunder Adnetwork I nostri audiolibri su Audible