She was not only a mom of her two sons; but she was also a mother of thousands of Ethiopian autistic children who were neglected, forgotten and left to lead a miserable life confining in dark rooms. She was the one who can lessen the burden of many Ethiopian mothers; and beam ray of hope in their faces. She was their angel who can put smile on their face, create joy and hopes through her kindness and thoughtfulness.
She was the one who can unmask the deep-rooted social psychological makeup of the society towards autism and sensitize the idiosyncrasies of the illness. She was a pioneer and role model lady who has shown that dreams can be realized through hard work, commitment; and attested as nothing is impossible.
Truly speaking, Zemi Yenus, the founder and Director of Nia Foundation - Joy Autism Center, was a true heroine and respected daughter of Ethiopia dedicated her life to reduce the pain and burden of Ethiopian children with autism and related disorders. Until she passed away on late Monday night (May 11, 2021) due to the Coronavirus pandemic, Zemi had been supporting and taking care of over 80 children with autism and related disorders for the last close to two decades. As it is learnt from the eulogy read on her funeral ceremony, the Director was infected by the Coronavirus and had been treated in one of the COVID Treatment centers in the capital, Addis Ababa.
Zemi has been building a new autism center that can accommodate 500 Ethiopian children with autism and related developmental disorders in Ethiopia on 5,000 hectares of land with a capital of 250 million Birr. Unfortunately, COVID-19 clogged her from realizing her dream. It is undeniable fact that, since the first case of Coronavirus was detected on March 13, 2020, we are experiencing and unwillingly witnessing the black sides of the pandemic. From time to time, many more people are admitted in hospitals and the pandemic is taking the lives of several Ethiopians. It is snatching us our beloved parents, families and costing the nation dearly
According to information from Ministry of Health, as of May 11, 2021, while 263,672 people are infected by the coronavirus, 3,911 people passed away and 212,567 people had recovered from the disease. In actual fact, the government has been taking various measures to contain the spread of the virus earlier than the first COVID-19 case was identified. It had declared state of emergency and lockdowns, established committee and taskforces that were entitled to facilitate
the control and prevention of the disease at different levels as well as mobilizing resources from different bodies to support those who may be affected by the virus. Concurrently, it has facilitated and equipped health institutions and COVID treatment centers including isolation and quarantine centers with the required medical equipment, human forces to conduct the necessary treatment and take care of COVID-19 patients.
Equally, using various media, including Ethio-telecom, it has been disseminating massive awareness raising messages to sensitize the general public about the pandemic and reduce the possibility of the transmission of the virus. As part of all these measures, using facemasks, sanitizing hands, applying physical distancing and avoid crowds
have been the most habituated and well exercised trends of the public. Even almost all service giving institutions and youth associations were active and energetic in practicing such precautionary measures accordingly. As a result, significant achievements have been witnessed in mitigating the spread of the virus. However, nowadays, due to publics' negligence, the virus is spreading at faster rate than before.
As Health Minister Lia Tadesse once stated, the pandemic is spreading and the number of people tested positive has risen alarmingly. Even ICU rooms have become exhausted in a manner the country has no more capacity to admit additional critical patients. The society has to apply COVID-19 precautionary measures and wear facemasks accordingly to secure themselves from the pandemic and not to be the reason for others' death and sufferings though death is there all the time.
She also urged those people meeting the requirements of COVID-19 vaccination to receive the jab. However, as the injection does not replace COVID-19 protection ways and means, you have to stick to the measures strictly, she added. "Let us apply precautionary measures accordingly and wear masks, sanitize hands and keep social distancing not to be the reason to exacerbate the spread of the pandemic."
True COVID -19 is costing us dearly. However, if we are alert enough to exercise the measures effectively, we can contain the spread of the virus and save ourselves and others. Currently, the country is offering COVID-19 vaccine shots and as of May 11, 2021, 1, 360 752 people were already immunized with the vaccine and set plans to vaccinate 20 percent of its population by the end of 2021.
BY STAFF REPORTER