- Most patients with the disease did not show any of the symptoms listed earlier.
- The county health ministry said more than 37,000 people had been tested for coronavirus and 2200 had been infected as of yesterday.
- Some parents in Mombasa County have protested against a government community-based education program.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has donated six vehicles to Mombasa County in Kenya that will be used to raise awareness about the coronavirus. The vehicles have loudspeakers and words to encourage residents to take precautions so that the message reaches all residents.
The messages include, “let us know our condition,” “wash our hands with soap,” and other written materials. Speaking to reporters during the launch of the vehicles outside the county offices, the Chief Public Health Officer, Ms. Aisha Abubakar, said in collaboration with The United Front, they would change the communication style about the tragedy, as some people continue to ignore measures put in place to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 disease.
Ms. Abubakar said most patients with the disease did not show any of the symptoms listed earlier, and it was the government’s responsibility to find a simple way to educate residents about the virus, in detail. Said Ms. Abubakar:
“Some patients who contracted the virus denied it because they could not find the symptoms listed earlier. It is our responsibility as a ministry to educate community members about this disease and what steps they should take to protect themselves.”
The county health ministry said more than 37,000 people had been tested for coronavirus and 2,200 had been infected as of yesterday. In that county, the Mvita constituency is the leading center of coronavirus infections, with 774 patients.
Ms. Abubakar said they were already working on mobilizing the public in the Kisauni, Jomvu, and Changamwe constituencies in partnership with civil society organizations.
The chairman of The United Front, Mr. Said Mabruk, said that in each vehicle there would be a public health officer who would speak to residents, as well as answer questions they had about the coronavirus.
“We want all residents to get the right message from professionals. We also aim to train more than 1000 people who will help us mobilize the people of Mombasa about this tragedy,” said Mr. Mabruk.
Mombasa Residents Oppose Local Education Program
Some parents in Mombasa County have protested against a government community-based education program, saying the plan endangers their children’s health. They said the integration of children from different homes to receive lessons would contribute to children becoming infected with COVID-19 if one of them became infected.
“In the statistics of the Ministry of Health, we have seen that children are not infected with this disease. We fear losing our children if proper strategies are not followed to ensure their safety,” said Bombolulu resident Mr. Juma Fadhili.
According to the head of the Teachers Service Commission (TSC), Ms. Nancy Macharia, the plan is to ensure that students continue to perform despite school closures.
She said the initiative would involve education sector officials and health officials to ensure its success. TSC director in Mombasa, Mr. Samuel Marigat, said on Wednesday last week they were in the process of registering teachers in the county. “We have started by registering teachers and places where they live,” he said.
He said each teacher will serve a group of 15 students. Regarding the areas where they will meet to implement the plan, Mr. Marigat said they were still discussing where appropriate areas for teachers to implement the project. “Teachers will teach children on the streets where they live,” he said.
He said they were still discussing whether teachers and students would be tested for COVID 19 before starting the program or not. He said students will start training next week. Another parent, Ms. Jane Wambui, said gathering students in the program would lead to more infections.
“Children do not know how to protect themselves when they play they will not miss contact and also use things together to put themselves at risk of infection,” he said. Teachers who spoke to reporters complained that the scheme would give them a hard time following the different schools’ differences in completing the syllabus.
“Students in different schools will be difficult to teach together. These students are first on different topics. There are those who are about to finish the syllabus. Some are in the middle and there are those at the beginning so it is difficult to put them together,” said one teacher, who declined to be named. He urged the government to come up with programs that will be safe for students and will not be a challenge for teachers.