NICE Rolls Out Door to Door COVID-19 Awareness Campaign in Likoma
Misconceptions surrounding COVID-19 have forced National Initiative for Civic Education (NICE) Public Trust to roll out door to door awareness campaigns on Likoma and Chizumulu Islands aimed at changing the mindset among the islanders on the reality of the pandemic.
This comes after Likoma District Medical Officer (DMO) Mathias Londo presented a report to Covid-19 Task Force stakeholders on Wednesday, that some health workers were assaulted in Kachere Village, in the area of Traditional Authority (TA) Mkumpha III where they went to collect samples of a suspect for Covid-19 test.
Likoma Island remains one of the districts where people are disputing the reality of the pandemic such that some preventive measures of the pandemic among them wearing face masks and social distancing are not adhered to.
NICE Public Trust District Civic Education Officer on the Island, Patrick Chikoti has described the development as worrisome.
"The development is worrisome. NICE as a Civic Educator has a big role to play in ending the vice in as far as changing people's mindset is concerned," he said.
In some circumstances, health workers were assaulted and chased away.
According to Likoma DMO Mathias Londo, the trend is becoming unbearable, a situation that is forcing health workers to withdraw their community health services delivery.
"We are not safe and we need protection. The only best way of protecting our staff from harm is to withdraw our services until the situation comes back to normal," Londo lamented.
Londo, therefore, called for rapid response from Covid-19 Task Force stakeholders.
"Nevertheless, let me thank our first contacts for cooperating well with health workers when we asked to collect their samples," he added.
Londo observed that "rapid response to the trend will help to gear up the amendment of our relationship with the Community that will trigger them to believe in messages of Covid-19."
NICE has since responded to health workers plea by officially rolling out the door to door awareness campaign.
"In this campaign, NICE is deploying over 20 of its volunteers to go flat out in the villages, fish camps, drinking joints, markets and funerals specifically for to change people's mindset and that no one is left behind," Chikoti revealed.
Out of 70 tests conducted, Likoma Island has so far recorded four positive cases and two deaths with one recovery, with one case still receiving treatment.