COVID-19 Prevention Campaign and Identification of Suspected Cases: A Pilot project
The response strategy of the government of Cameroon to the COVID-19 pandemic has been made public through Audio visual and print media, social medial and other informal channels. The biggest challenge remains translating this measures to a simple and practical manner that is clearly understood by the man in the streets. In light with this, The Covid-19 taskforce of the Denis and Lenora Foretia Foundation deems it imperative to use existing grassroots structures, institutions, religious and traditional rulers in the sensitization efforts which must taking into account the social and cultural dynamics of the communities in order to obtain significant results.
The global objective is to engage community leaders in the prevention of the spread of Covid-19 and the identification of symptomatic cases in their areas. This will help with easy case identification and subsequent quarantine.
The specific objectives are:
- To simplify the understanding of the preventive measures through demonstrations;
- Facilitate the creation of local volunteers at community level;
- Educate the public on the signs and symptoms and preventive measures to take;
- To adapt the preventive measures to the social cultural context of the community;
- Translate messages into local dialects;
- Educate a wider audience in the community through the use of Cable networks companies
- Conception and printing of posters and fliers:
Posters and Fliers are designed and distributed. The posters display preventive measures through images that the general public can easily relate with.
These posters are posted in strategic places where the population congregates such as markets, bars, shops, churches etc. meanwhile, Fliers are distributed by a team of volunteers especially to vulnerable populations such as Motorbike riders, hawkers…
2. Training of community leaders:
A health professional is identified from amongst the taskforce volunteers to train selected leaders on identification of signs and symptoms of COVID 19.
A demonstration session was carried on the preventive measures to be taken by members of the community.
To facilitate the work of a community leader(s) a Kit comprising of; gloves, face masks, hand sanitizers, makeshift washing stations, and a mobile telephone was made available to them.
- 1 Translation of messages to local languages (pidgin, fang, Ewondo etc):
Messages were translated to local languages with the assistance of volunteers. This ensured that the preventive measures are understood by a wider population thus increasing the likelihood of behavior change by a greater number of persons
- 2 Myth debunking
Myth debunking is an integral part of the pilot project. Volunteers identify myths from social media platforms, conversations with peers etc on daily basis. These myths are forwarded to the taskforce who debunks the myths and communicate to the target population through social media posts, community radio stations, etc…
- 3 Community hotline
A hotline has been created and is maintained by the community leaders whereby members of the community can reach out in case of suspected cases within the community or for information purposes.
- 4 Cable distribution channels
Considering that the population is encouraged to stay home, and most people especially the youth will be glued to their TV sets, some cable distribution companies within the community have been contacted to roll out messages to enable more people have access to the prescribed preventive measures.
- 1 interviews on the perception of the population:
Task force volunteers, as well as volunteers from the community conduct both formal and informal interviews.
- 2 Gather opinion of the population on appropriate ways to enforce the strategies put in place by the Government:
Each month an interactive online symposium is hosted by the Foundation. This will serve as a platform for the population to express their views on the issues related to the Corona virus and its subsequent effect on the lives of the population in their communities.
Monitoring will be done at two levels: on the field by the community volunteers, at the level of the traditional leaders (chief ) in the community and at the level of the COVID-19 task force.
The following indicators are monitored:
- Number of suspected cases reported;
- Number of suspected cases tested;
- Number of calls to the hotline;
- Number of participants during online symposiums
The pilot phase of this project is carried out at block 2 and 10 of the Simbock neighborhood in Yaoundé.
Community Engagement in the Fight Against the Covid-19 Pandemic
Coronavirus Taskforce Campaign against Covid-19 in Cameroon
CRTV Report || COVID 19 Community Sensitisation Campaign Pilot Project Simbok Yaoundé
Reportage CRTV || Projet Pilote de Campagne de Sensibilisation Communautaire COVID 19 à Simbock Yaoundé