PHILLIP MBUGO Collective efforts to raise awareness on measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 across South Sudan seem to be increasing. A cogent example of this is a women’s association – the Anika Women’s Association – from Yambio, Western Equatoria, which has recently launched a door-to-door sensitization campaign in local neighbourhoods using posters and pamphlets produced by UNMISS.
“Many people are listening to the preventative measures regarding this virus that are being constantly broadcast on radios. However, not every South Sudanese household owns a radio. This is exactly why we took the initiative to go door-to-door and explain to our communities, our neighbours about coronavirus,” says Yabang Emelia Moses, Executive Director, Anika Women’s Association.
According to Ms. Moses, people living in remote areas and small villages are still not aware of the preventative measures that need to be taken to fight COVID-19, especially the importance of social or physical distancing. “Given the situation, we decided to take matters into our own hands,” says Ms. Moses.
The Association members, therefore, earmarked an area of some eight kilometers that they could cover on foot as they go about speaking with people and putting up posters with messages from the World Health Organization in public places as well as in front of individual residences. These messages have been translated into local languages by UNMISS for people to read and learn about the basic steps they can take to protect themselves from contracting the virus. They are also available in English.
“I am very happy to meet with the Anika Women’s Association and am thankful for their effort to come to my doorstep and clarify how I and my family can stay safe from COVID-19. Before speaking with the Association, I wasn’t clear about what we needed to do, but now I feel far more confident when it comes to taking precautions,” said Joseph David, a resident in the Hai Kisanga area, Yambio.
The United Nations is supporting many such initiatives taken by local communities to curb the spread of this pandemic. UNMISS is distributing tens of thousands of information leaflets and posters, running promo-trucks around the country, including Protection of Civilian sites, to educate people and, through its field offices, renovating hospitals and aiding the work of healthcare professionals by handing over much-needed medical supplies and ambulance services.
Source: UN Mission in South Sudan