WHO trains 30 traditional communicators

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By Aisha Tamba

The World Health Organisation in collaboration with the Ministry of Health on Wednesday trained 30 traditional communicators (Kanyelengs) on Covid-19 prevention and control in Kanifing.

The training is financially and technically supported by the World Health Organization targeting 210 traditional communicators across the country.

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Kanyelengs are traditional communicators, who endured losses due to traditional beliefs but have since served as both inspirators and entertainers in communities.

Momodou Gasssama, WHO, said the training of the traditional communicators is aimed at boosting information dissemination on the new variant strains of Covid-19 cases in their communities.

Isatou Sanneh, a Kanyeleng, expressed delight in attending the training. “I am happy to be present here to learn more about the new variant strain of Covid-19. It is significant for me to reach out to my community and tell them about this unprecedented pandemic. After today, I will sensitise my people in my community on the importance to wear face masks, handwashing and social distancing at weddings, naming ceremonies, Bantabas and in market places.”

Alagie Sankareh, the regional director of health services for Western Region-one, emphasized that since the inception of Covid-19 in the country the Ministry of Health and WHO came up with measures to make sure that the population of The Gambia adhere to the measures like wearing of face makes, handwashing, social distancing and ensuring that people can also often volunteer to testing.

“Now that the population is not adhering to this measure, we understand that the Ministry of Health cannot do it alone, so we need to engage partners and traditional communicators, coming from the communities, are very important partners in health development and they have been devoted in disseminating information to the population. People listen to them frequently and also take advice from them in terms of good health. So that is the reason why we assemble them here to give them a sort of contract of two months to go in to their individual communities to engage their communities on the preventive measures of coronavirus, especially now that we have three new cases of the deadliest strain of Covid-19 in the country,” he asserted.