Community Working Group on Health (CWGH), a local civil society organisation, is holding trainings with community structures in the western suburbs of Bulawayo as part of the efforts to complement government measures in raising awareness on prevention and control of Covid-19.
This comes at a time when the Bulawayo City Council (BCC) has identified suburbs such as Cowdray Park, Nkulumane, Emganwini, and Entumbane amongst others as Coronavirus hotspot areas in the city, although cases are now spreading to other suburbs.
To date the country has recorded over 6 200 cases with at least 179 deaths.
Bulawayo has recorded 1 260 cases and 29 deaths.
The training targets community influencers who comprise peer educators, home-based care workers, resident associations, church leaders, sports coaches and cultural leaders among others.
Speaking to CITE, CWGH Assistant Programs Officer, Tjedu Moyo, said the targeted individuals can influence behaviours and attitudes around Covid-19.
“The training is a response to rising cases of Covid-19 in Bulawayo. These are influential people in society who have the power to influence behaviours and attitudes around Covid-19,” said Moyo.
“The main objective of the training is to disseminate information and equip community cadres with Covid-19 related information and to demystify myths.”
Moyo said they also want the training to be part of efforts to encourage social distancing in communities.
“We want to promote social distancing in the communities, use of sanitizers and mostly staying at home. We also want to demystify myths such as the use of concoctions, myths around drinking alcohol to beat Covid-19, use of garlic and many other beliefs around the pandemic,” she said.
Meanwhile, in a media briefing the Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Monica Mutsvangwa, recently said the community awareness programmes were gathering momentum as the country’s local transmissions remain worrisome.
“Village health workers are vital to the country’s health delivery system as they interface with communities on a day to day basis,” said Mutsvangwa.
“In the current Covid-19 context, their role has expanded beyond engaging communities in prevention and protective measures, to include detection and responses in containing the pandemic”.
Minister Mutsvangwa said village health workers trainings link them with local health facility staff and rapid response teams.