With nearly 36,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Uganda, our work in partnership with POPOW (Prince of Peace Orphans and Widows – Vision) is providing communities with the opportunity to practice safe hygiene and to receive education on the dangers of the virus and how to stay safe.
In partnership with SBB Research Group, POPOW aired 8 radio programs since June to educate the public, reaching over 50,000 people. Given the vast rural landscape of Kaberamaido and Kalaki and limited access to electricity, radio shows are one of the main communication modes to keep people informed. In these pandemic times they also provide a safe, effective and efficient method to convey critical information. These radio shows varied from providing information about the correct way to collect water from the community boreholes, to the proper way to wash hands, to educating women and girls on how to manage their periods during this pandemic.
In one radio show about how to maintain proper hygiene and sanitation both at home and at the water source, water users at one borehole were applauded for creating a hand-washing station, clearing the land, and ensuring that all water cans brought to the water source were clean. For water users who fail to wash their water containers, they are fined a small fee that is typically used to maintain the borehole.
In another radio show, listeners were told what items they would need to construct their own hand-washing stations at home, as well as theoretical training on how to build it. The listeners called in to thank the hosts for the information, and request that the radio shows continue.
At the end of every radio show, listeners have a chance to call in and ask questions or leave comments. One caller stated that “the messages spread [through the radio shows] are helping us to maintain our hygiene.”
Our local partner POPOW says that the radio shows “allow community members to keep learning and also provide a convenient platform for giving feedback, raising concerns, and asking questions,” allowing even the most vulnerable to gain the knowledge they need to keep a clean, healthy lifestyle and slow the spread of COVID-19.
Surge would like to thank our donors, especially SBB research group for helping us strengthen our existing programs to better address COVID-19 prevention. Together, we are sustaining health in our communities well into the future.