Tuesday, 17 November 2020 07:59

Resolutions set to mitigate the current upward surge of Covid-19 cases in Kenya

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Why are wananchi not adhering to covid-19 protocols? Why are the covid-19 numbers soaring even higher as days go by and why is there minimal behavior change among wananchi, if any? These are some of the questions that the virtual consultative meeting held by the Council of Governors and county directors of communication on 10th November, 2020 sort to answer. The meeting was convened to strategize on implementation of resolutions arising from the 6th extra ordinary virtual session of the National and County Governments’ coordinating summit. Speaking during the consultative meeting, the County Director of communications, Kilifi County Mr. Mark Agutu emphasized on the need to embrace a new approach in fighting the covid-19 pandemic. “While it is important for us to enhance the capacity of our health care system to manage the covid-19 cases, we also need to focus on how we can realize behavior change”.
The now famous slogan ‘Bila barakoa hakuna Huduma’ or ‘No mask, no service’ is at the heart of behavior change. However, without proper implementation, it will remain to be just a catchphrase. To achieve the desired results of the campaign, ‘no mask no service’ a number of strategies were put forward. The Council of Governors in collaboration with the County Governments is to develop a unified campaign message that will be disseminated through broadcast, print and new media all over the country. This message will be translated into Kenya’s vernacular languages so that it’s able to reach all citizens. Further, bulk SMS messages will be used to ensure those who lack access to any of the fore mentioned media will not be left behind.
County Governments and the COG will also partner with other institutions in the private sector including NGOs to aid in the civic education exercise. Such partnerships will provide a large pool of resources which will significantly boost the capacity of the County Governments to manage the covid-19 pandemic. Based on the current trajectory of the virus, it is evident that more needs to be done to make people fully cognizant of how fatal the disease is. As such, individuals including community elders, religious leaders and other opinion makers of the society will play a key role in the community sensitization exercise. The more they talk about and live out the ‘no mask no service’ campaign, the more effective the campaign message will be.
Mwananchi will not only be influenced to believe covid-19 is real but also actively participate in flattening the covid-19 curve. Once implemented, the sensitization campaign poses immense benefits. The campaign also calls for a multi-sectoral approach which will bring together players in various industries from civil society and governments to the private sector.
Lastly, communication needs to be at the center of all the programmes being rolled out at the county level, especially with regards to the management of human response to the pandemic. Currently, as part of the campaign communication representatives are being included in all conversations and committees’ on matters covid-19. By doing so, it will ensure that all communication across the 47 counties is targeted, relevant, coordinated and consistent. The campaign is not just a National and County Government initiative but also every citizens’ personal responsibility.

Read 75 times Last modified on Tuesday, 17 November 2020 08:44