RDN Agribusiness Cohorts Surviving Covid-19
Working with communities to topple the Spread of Coronavirus
Introduction to covid-19
To support the fight against Covid-19, Riana Development Network (RDN), County Government of HomaBay, and Local Government organized a public awareness event on 31st July, 2020 at RDN centre in Magina, Homabay – to train the residents of on the emerging respiratory viruses, including novel coronavirus. Mrs. Pamela Otina, the Dhiwa Sub-county Agricultural Officer introduced participants to the nature of coronavirus; as a large family of viruses that are known to cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). She provided a general introduction to COVID-19 and emerging respiratory viruses and what is required of every family member to help control the spread of coronavirus.
Controlling the spread of Covid-19
Since the mandatory wearing of masks entered into force in early April, the communities are continuously faced with challenge of accessing and affording Personal Protection Equipment (PPEs). This has increased susceptibility to covid-19 with continuous ground crossings from different parts of the country there being no physical structures, barriers or borders between different wards or villages. Therefore, RDN and her partners organized this event to provide community members with Covid-19 Compliance Kit which contained personal reusable masks, water tanks to be situated in public places with heavy traffic flow such as markets, soap and hand sanitizers. “This goes a long way in improving our safety, this also helps us save some money as we will no longer struggle to buy masks again and again” Said Linet Nyangweso.
Infection Control and Prevention
With the guidance of area Assistant Chief Mr. Simon Ochieng , the training also provided information on what communities should be doing to be prepared to respond to a case of an emerging respiratory virus such as the novel coronavirus, how to identify a case once it occurs, and how to properly implement Infection, Prevention and Control (IPC) measures to ensure there is no transmission of coronavirus within the locality. The trainers provided nutritional knowledge of eating foods like Avocado, Pineapple, Garlic, Ginger and more vegetables. This kind of care is made possible by continuous practiced farming and availability of these kind of foods on personal kitchen gardens. The training provided an operational planning guidelines and emergency communication lines to support the community’s response and preparedness. Together with Creating Decent Employment Opportunities Program (CREDEEP) Manager Mr. George Orero, the trainers reiterated the importance of good hygiene – cleaning hands at the right time in the right way, wearing mask at all times while in public places.
The area Assistant Chief highlighted the relevance of the ban on mass gathering in the context of covid-19 with specific aim of containing risks associated with transmission of this infection. The law allows a gathering of at most 15 participants, but with a clear observation of how to increase the safety of participants as a public health planning. The Program Manager clarified the value of observing standard precautions of hand hygiene – using soap and flowing water, wearing mask appropriately, avoiding touching eyes, nose and mouth and properly disposing off single use masks or thoroughly washing and drying reusable masks. “30% of single use masks we have can compromise the safety of our community if not properly disposed and therefore considered hazardous materials” Said Mr. George Orero. The training ended on high note as participants show off the branded masks and their packs of compliance kits.