Hand washing points, face masks, hand sanitizers were shared to the communities against the coronavirus pandemic
By Boris Esono Nwenfor
As the fight against the coronavirus intensifies across Cameroon, local NGOs have taken the fight against the disease to some rural communities in Buea, Chief town of the South West Region.
“Project scaling up efforts against COVID-19 pandemic” Investing in People Worldwide (IPW), MIVEG Foundation, AWEC team up to provide handwashing point, face masks, hand sanitizers, liquid soap to inhabitants of the Lysoka area.
Some 250 inhabitants turn up for the exercise with topics centred on causes, modes of transmissions and preventive measures of COVID-19, demonstrations on proper handwashing, production of locally made hand sanitizer, and others.
The inhabitants were drawn from the seven different villages in the local area such as Wokaka, Wokeka, Wonjia, Lysoka Wombaki, Lysoka Moliwe, Lysoka Bwile, and Wokwe.
“We came here to sensitize the community about the COVID-19 pandemic, the modes of transmissions and the preventions. It is to ensure that the population has the right information to stand guard against the coronavirus,” Ruth Abunaw Besong, Exec Dir. Investing in People Worldwide (IPW) said.
The inhabitants were taught on how to produce the hand sanitizer since as it may be expensive for most of them to procure the ones being sold in the market. Hand washing points and face masks were distributed to members of the community.
She added, “…. My message to the community is that COVID-19 is very real, and they should stay safe. It can be done by observing social distancing, hands and face hygiene, and stay in your houses.”
“We are looking at events similar to this one as this is the fourth activity we have done in the fourth community. We have carried out events with other organizations such as CHRDA (to distribute face masks to the Tole community) to share the message against the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Motute Miriam, CEO of MIVEG Foundation (an organization that fights against teenage pregnancy, menstrual hygiene management, Hiv/AIDS and Gender-based violence) their message to the population was centred on maintaining social distance and proper hygiene management during this pandemic.
“We have encouraged the population to use hand sanitizers if there is no water available in the community. Without water in the community, I believe they can be able to use the locally made hand sanitizers that the communities have been taught how to produce for themselves and their families. “We are looking at the possibilities of going to other communities apart from Lysoka to see that we combat this pandemic.”
The project coordinator of AWEC (Association for Women Empowerment, aim at empowering women and young girls), Biah Yolande said they came to Lysoka since they knew it is an interior area and “we think other organizations have not yet come to educate them on what the coronavirus is all about. As always, the message to the communities is to stay safe from the coronavirus pandemic,” She said.
In a question and answer session, inhabitants were called upon to keep out of reach of children who may drink the hand sanitizer, thinking it is water. Words of caution were equally made on using the hand sanitizer and immediately going to a fireside.
Authorities in the region continue to call on the population to respect the measures put in place by the government such as the washing of hands with soap and water, the wearing of face masks in public and practising social distancing. At present, the South West Region counts some 31 confirmed cases of the coronavirus.