Save the Children drills HSAs in best Covid-19 message dissemination tools

Save the Children International in conjunction with the Ministry of Health have equipped Health Surveillance Assistants (HSAs) Mwanza, Neno and Machinga with knowledge and skills for disseminating messages about Covid-19 pandemic to their respective communities.

The two-day training workshop, which took place at Mount Soche Hotel in Blantyre on Friday, was organized under the project called Breakthrough Action Project Malawi.

Some of the HSAs who attended the workshop in Blantyre

Deputy Director for Preventive Health Services responsible for Community Health, Doreen Namagetsi Ali, stressed the need for unrelenting campaign for Covid-19 vaccination until Malawi wins the battle against the disease.

However, Namagetsi observed that this can only be achieved if communities are made aware of the pandemic and what they need to do to eliminate it.

“We saw it very much wise to engage these HSAs together with some volunteers in this workshop as you know these are the people that leave with the community members and it’s very easy for the information to be taken by the community if that information is coming from these HSA’s as well as these volunteers hence the workshop.

“We produce flip charts that are being used by these HSAs when disseminating the information to their communities and these flip charts are produce in way that people can be able to interpret the information easily,” she said.

Added Namagetsi Ali, “We hope that with more current information that is pasted on these flip charts the communities will continue be sensitized and encouraged to get vaccinated. Right now we have seen that the response is positive through this way and it’s our hope that this arrangement will reach out all the districts in the country.”

Project Manager for Breakthrough Action Project, Harrison Sikalamwa, said their main interest is to create more demand for Covid-19 vaccine through community engagement and building capacity of different structures in the communities so that the communities on their own can create demand for Covid-19 vaccine uptake.

Sikalamwa disclosed that there has been an increase in community engagement through different structures, which they have put in place and that people, including community leaders, are now able to sift truth from lies about the pandemic.

“Mwanza district is one of the areas that has improved in as far as Covid -19 vaccine uptake is concern, with the rates ranging from four percent from the very start to 23 percent, so we can say that these community engagement field guides has contributed more to make community understand the importance of Covid-19 vaccine uptake. It’s our appeal to the government that they should allow more partners to adopt to this system so that more people can understand the information easily,” he said.

One of the HSAs from Mwanza district, Rhoda Chitsulo, held the project for triggering mindset change among the community members in her area.

Chitsulo said the number of people going for Covid-19 vaccine has been increasing following the dispelling of the myths.

Save the Children International initiated Breakthrough Action Project Malawi with funding from United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

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