We are living through a time of increased uncertainty due to the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic that has plunged the world into a state of uncertainty. Here at the Centre for Youth Driven Development Initiatives (CFYDDI), with support from AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) and other Development Partners, we are conducting a community mass sensitization on COVID-19 prevention and detection to prevent the spread of the virus.
Our journey in this fight to prevent the further spread of COVID-19 started with CFYDDI mapping the high risk communities and targeting busy rural, semi-urban and slum communities to prepare the masses for the tough time that set in because of COVID-19 and the national lockdown. Operating in Wakiso district, we targeted communities in Kiira municipality, Nansana town council, Nsangi town council, Kasanganti Town council, and Kyengera Town council.
We brought on board 25 community task team to reach out, 15 local community radio programs with a total of 224 talk shows, twice a week, and one of Sky Voice Radio Program for a daily program for seven days a week, in 6 different local languages, broadcasting a total of 122 times run by only half of the frontline community task force members during the months of May and June.
The community task team has a well-planned schedule for the outreach program and they use high quality loud mega phones that covers a wide range and very suitable in very busy areas as every person can hear the loud voice. It’s also fitted with a serene sound that attracts attention from the communities before one starts delivering the message.
Guided by weekly reviews and update information from the National COVID-19 Task Force media updates to the nation by the ministry of health and from the print media This has helped CFYDDI take expert information on the pandemic to the masses to strengthen the community response plan.
At all times the entire CFYDDI Task Force keeps and adheres to all the standard operating procedures both while at the CFYDDI COVID-19 command center, during the local voice radio programs, during the weekly review meetings and during the community response outreach program. They are all equipped with the necessary personal protective equipment.
Targeting a population of about 3 million people: rural, urban and slum populations with about 40,000 print posters in high resolution attractive colors, we placed illustrations on the posters to ensure we cater for the category that may not read at all of what we wanted masses to follow to prevent and detect cases of COVID-19. We also included the hotline free number for the Ministry of Health to report any community suspected cases. The posters were in both English and the local luganda languages, an act that was highly welcomed by local leaders, community people themselves.
In just 2 months, we have reached out to 54 communities/ villages and have placed 40,000 posters in each of these communities and worked with 33 local council offices, conducted 224 local community voice talk show programs and we continue to do more.
We have recruited widely and organized a total of 15 trainings for a combined team and 12 training sessions for Nsangi town council group, providing them with essential protective supplies like liquid soap and sanitizers. We have also provided masks, aprons gloves, and sanitizers to the 20 community frontline ambassadors.
Most targeted communities have no access to communication media like television sets, radios and can`t even afford buying daily media prints to access information and this explains why the
To consolidate efforts to sensitize communities on COVID-19, CFYDDI Still Youth edutainment crew composed two COVID-19sensitization songs “Keeping a Distance” and “CFYDDI Stop COVID-19” to sensitize the masses through music and the lyrics have been played on the local community voice radios. And with support from other partners, we have offered financial support to women groups to resuscitate their small businesses.
The COVID-19 situation currently in Uganda is at stage three where we are encountering community cases! With the country in stage three this calls for better compliance from the public if we are to prevent mass transmission of COVID-19. Currently however the rapid increasing number of infection is quiet worrying!
We appreciate you all for taking personal and collective responsibility towards defeating COVI-19.