#National News

Health Ministry, WHO orient traditional communicators on Covid-19

Feb 3, 2021, 12:29 PM

The Ministry of Health in partnership with the World Health Organisation (WHO) Country Office recently oriented 30 traditional communicators drawn from various communities within West Coast Region on critical issues concerning covid-19.

The day’s event, which forms the last leg of a nationwide initiative, earlier saw nationwide orientation of over 200 traditional communicators.

The move is designed to arm this critical mass of community actors with the requisite knowledge and information for more sensitisation, as they have the skills to communicate to mass audience of the community.

Welcoming the participants, Kura Joof, a staff at the West Coast Regional Health Directorate in Brikama, underscored the role of traditional communicators in message dissemination.

She, however, called on all for attitudinal change and always adhere to WHO and Ministry of Health’s precautionary guidelines such as wearing of face masks, testing, and physical distancing to combat the pandemic.

For his part, Momodou Gassama, communication expert at WHO country office, indicated that the move is designed to reinforce what they’ve already done before, saying one the challenges they face now is that people are not forthcoming for testing.

“So we want to engage this critical group of our society who have the knowledge and skills to communicate positive messages. This is not the first they’ve have been engaged by the Ministry. Other agencies and organisation had engaged traditional communicators. So we know and valued their role as dissemination of information is concern. So today’s event, we are training the last cohorts of 30 people within West Coast Region.”

Gassama indicated that after the orientation they expect the participants to disseminate key messages on Covid-19 in their various communities, adding that WHO and partners would continue to reinforce key messages such as hand washing, wearing face masks, and physical distancing.

“People think that corona virus is dead, but corona virus is coming back. And so therefore we have to wake up and that’s the wake up we are trying to do here.”

Also speaking, Mass Joof, a staff at the Directorate of Health Promotions at the Ministry of Health, underscored the role of traditional communicators in the dissemination of key messages.

He reminded the gathering that Covid-19 has taken a new dimension with the coming of the new variant version, which all poses serious challenges to humanity.

Joof while outlining the need to join forces to combat this deadly virus, equally called for attitudinal changes as far as combating the global pandemic is concerned. 

The event wrapped up with the signing of a two-month contract between the traditional communicators and the Ministry for these community actors to intensify their advocacy on key messages regarding covid-19.