Health Promotion village drives creating behavioral change in Amuru District
Tuesday, 30 June, 2020
Following the recent outbreak of COVID-19, a currently global pandemic that has caught many unprepared to manage, its important the community’s response to the set standards by the ministry of health and national tasks force on COVID-19 is checked and information made clear to all in simple and understandable language so as to increase awareness of the situation and provoke the will to fight these pandemic as a team.
Community sensitization drive involves driving around and through the local community while using a public address system to give detailed information about COVID-19 and reinforcing the practice of hand hygiene, use of masks, establishment of household sanitary elements and access to health services in the health facilities among others.
Stop overs are made in densely populated areas during which information is passed through audio recordings and direct communication using microphones and mega phones, after which a question and answer session is done for each stop over point. Along the paths with evidently low/ clustered households, local music with relevant information regarding COVID-19 was played to attract their attention.
The health promotion village drive covered 17 villages in a period of 3 days in the month of May 2020 reaching 3,715 people with Health messages related to the Prevention and stopping the spread of COVID-19
Amref recorded some major achievements and these included;
- All trading centers within lamogi sub county have where reached with basic information on COVID-19, sanitation and hygiene practices.
- Water points are a strong element in providing access to women and girls for sensitization no COVID-19 who in the end shared the information with their families and friends.
- Community leaders and resource persons reached and encouraged to play there their roles regarding COVID-19, sanitation and hygiene maintenance.
Health promotion drives are most successful in the dry weather but during the rainy season the activities are affected in different ways for example
- Heavy rains affected the use of the public address system in some places.
- Some community roads were inaccessible due flooding.
Some of the key findings we gathered was that atleast
- 8/10 of households have hand washing facilities, however; –
a). 2/10 hand washing facilities have soap.
b). 6/10 hand washing facilities did not have water in them, they hurry to put water when the tusks force members reach.
- The community members are generally cautious of new/unusual people arriving, this is evident in their unwillingness to draw near to the sensitization drive team, most of them opted to listened from their homes.
- The availability and use of marks at community level is very low though many people were concerned about how they could have access to them.
- Some form of carelessness is being exhibited by children and drunkards within the trading centers they are less mindful of social distances.
- Responsible community leaders are taking initiative to register all new entrants into their communities and have instructed their members to report any visitors and have discouraged unnecessary movements within the community.
- Most community members have complained about the lack of safe water due the brake down of available boreholes.
- Parish/village task force chairpersons should identify a few local tailors to make and sell clothed marks to community members at an affordable cost.
- The sub county and partners should carry out Community sensitizations on a regular basis to enforce behavior change.
- The sub county authorities/COVID-19 task force should Strengthen sub village COVID-19 task forces to foster services at sub-village levels.
- Sub county and AMREF should speed up the processes of rehabilitation of boreholes to increase access to safe water.
The communities have become increasingly vigilant however the attitude towards, social distancing and handwashing is worrying especially at sub village and household levels, trading centers and markets are catching up with the practice of hand washing but a lot more has to be done about social distancing as well.
Amref Health Africa teams up with African communities to create lasting health change.