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Dignity Period's CNN Hero lauded for frontline efforts to fight spread of COVID-19

CNN is once again highlighting the positive impact Dignity Period partner Freweini Mebrahtu is having on communities in her native Ethiopia — this time for retooling her sanitary pad factory to produce 50,000+ face masks and raising awareness about steps everyone can take to slow the spread of coronavirus.

When she hands out masks, she talks to people about how wearing them, combined with social distancing, can reduce the risk of contracting or spreading coronavirus.

"We're talking about a fundamental lifestyle change for our communities," Mebrahtu told CNN. "Life here is very much communal, so we are trying to maintain social bonds at a distance."

"We have culture that puts high value on its elders," Mebrahtu told CNN. "So, my age and the recognition for our work from CNN Heroes, it seems like people have time for what I have to say. It is an incredible responsibility and I am trying my best to be worthy of this."

CNN's story also highlights the difference that two other former CNN Heroes are making in Africa, where the COVID-19 has infected more than 1.2 million people.

Dr. Georges Bwelle, 2013 CNN Hero, and his organization, ASCOVIME, have discovered new ways to keep people safe as they bring free medical and surgical clinics to rural villages in Cameroon.

Umra Omar, 2016 CNN Hero, and her colleagues at Safari Doctors are bringing medical care and raising awareness in rural Kenya about hand-washing and other safety measures that are helping to slow the spread of the virus.


Watch CNN's story ...


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