Although so far Africa has been the continent least affected by Covid-19, the World Health Organization has expressed concern that the spread of the virus will accelerate, predicting that up to 44 million people in Africa could be infected in 2020-2021 if containment measures fail, and up to 190,000 could die of COVID-19. As a group of African public health practitioners, we know we need to prepare the communities where we work – now. These communities require urgent access to reliable – factual information, combined with context-relevant hygiene, handwashing and spatial distancing practices and a support network that links them to health systems.
Together with our partners, Health Poverty Action, Organisation of Poverty Aleviation (OPAD) and the Adventist NGO ADRA we are seeking assistance from major Agencies and Donors to support us to role out our programme in six countries where we stand ready to implement immediately.
We have two main hubs: Eastern hub consisting of Kenya, Rwanda, Ethiopia and Somaliland and a Southern Hub with Zimbabwe and Zambia. We aim to reach remote pastoralists in Southern Ethiopia, IDPs and marginalised people in their neighbourhoods in Somaliland and Northern Kenya, subsistence farmers in Rwanda, Zambia and crisis-riven Zimbabwe with interactive broadcasts that will attract a wide audience of listeners, not only the mothers and custodians of family health, but also their families.
We willl be using community radio stations in these six countries to form listener groups which will be encouraged to register as an emergency Corona Health Cluster (eCHC): a cluster of 10 households who will form Covid Safe listening circles – an adaptation of the Community Health Club model. These clusters will be primed to prevent Covid infections, debunk myths, enabling a coping mechanism to manage infections if and when they occur. In addition, they will be mobilised to prevent other prevalent diseases through applying the CHC approach.
If you are able to support this worthwhile Covid 19 mitigation please contact us directly by email. [email protected] for a Concept Note