Peacekeepers from Ghana join hands with partners to sensitize South Sudanese communities on COVID-19
UNMISS peacekeepers from Ghana recently teamed up with numerous nongovernmental organizations as well as representatives from the local government to raise awareness on COVID-19 preventative measures among communities living in Adok, Muom and Ding-Ding.
With confirmed cases of COVID-19 in South Sudan, raising awareness among local communities about preventive measures remains a key priority for the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), humanitarian partners and local authorities.
Keeping in view the fact that fighting this pandemic needs to be a collaborative effort, UNMISS peacekeepers from Ghana recently teamed up with numerous nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) as well as representatives from the local government to sensitize communities living in Adok, Muom and Ding-Ding areas in the larger Greater Upper Nile region.
The initiative aimed at educating the general public through pre-recorded messages in three different local languages that are broadcast via speakers mounted on a UN vehicle on easy but effective ways to mitigate health risks posed by the coronavirus.“As peacekeepers, our main task is to protect civilians across South Sudan. While, in normal times, this constitutes intensive and targeted patrolling to prevent threats to life and safety, this pandemic has made it necessary for us to think out-of-the-box,” said Lieutenant-General Shailesh Tinaikar, Force Commander, UNMISS, while commending the Ghanain peacekeepers under his command. “The biggest danger to vulnerable populations right now is from this virus. So, while we continue to do all we can to ensure our peacekeepers are not vectors of contagion, we believe it is equally necessary for us to reach out to host populations and sensitize them on how they can stay healthy, virus-free,” he added.
In addition, peacekeepers also handed over buckets and soap to ensure that communities living in these areas can actively inculcate frequent handwashing habits as advised by the World Health Organisation.
This mobile awareness drive is fully supported by local authorities as well as a host of NGOs, including Hope Restoration South Sudan, Nile Hope, Children’s Aid South Sudan, Collation for Humanity, Universal Intervention and Development Organisation.
“We are immensely thankful for the encouragement from and close partnerships with so many committed local counterparts. This virus endangers all of us equally and we can only fight it in a united manner. Given the positive reactions, we are planning to roll out this initiative in many other towns and villages,” states Colonel Imran Safdar, Deputy Sector Commander, Sector Unity, UNMISS.