Children are championing COVID-19 prevention efforts
Children are finding new meaningful ways of spending their time now that schools have been forced to closed due to COVID-19 control measures.
Nureddin, 13, is leading a grassroots COVID-19 awareness-raising campaign in Ed Damazine locality in Blue Nile State. He started the campaign with his family telling his peers to consider their actions and behaviour in the context of the pandemic. It all started in May when he heard some messages about coronavirus broadcast via loudspeaker from a vehicle going around in his community.
The State Ministry of Health in Blue Nile State and the international NGO World Vision conducted coronavirus awareness campaigns, including broadcasting messages through radio and TV, educating the community on the risks and how they could contribute to prevent the spread of the virus. This has been made possible through funding from the Sudan Humanitarian Fund (SHF).
Nureddin's family radio has become a trusted source of reliable information on COVID-19. He says that through the local radio station he has learned that the virus is deadly – a message that stuck with him – but there were ways to protect yourself and others from it.
“Ever since I started listening to the radio and learning about coronavirus, I knew it was something very serious that people needed to pay more attention to,” Nureddin said. “Hearing, for example, that the virus can be spread when people touch contaminated surfaces or objects, made me very worried. I also know, through radio, that the disease has caused many deaths here in Sudan and all over the world."
“I like to be aware of what is going on so that I can help promote prevention efforts at home. To me, the messages received through the radio are very clear and I take them very seriously. I believe we will be okay if we all follow the advice properly,” he said, adding that everyone should use preventive measures to win the fight again the coronavirus.
Nureddin’s mother, Saadiya says her son is like the prefect of the household when it comes to applying the recommended preventive behaviours. “I am amazed at my son’s interest in this disease. He is young, but he takes the messages very seriously, and this has had an impact on all of us and how we treat the disease.”
Nureddin’s father and mother had to adapt to the changes COVID-19 has brought about. Recently, his mother did not go to a wedding of a close relative because of her son’s warning. "For now, I decided not to take part in any gatherings until health authorities announce that the pandemic is over,” she said.
Saadiya only goes to the market to get essential supplies. “As a mother, I am very proud of how my son, though young, is leading us adults in learning more about this virus, and keeping an eye on us, so that we can prevent infection.”
Nureddin is happy that his parents are taking the advice and recommendations about coronavirus seriously. He misses school and his classmates and is keen to continue being a behaviour change champion, even beyond COVID-19. “When we are back to school, my friends and I will work with our teachers to educate all students on the importance of hand-washing,” he said.
With SHF support, World Vision in collaboration with its partners reached almost 540,000 people with COVID-19 awareness-raising and prevention activities in four states across Sudan since March 2020.