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Committee dispels community fears over quarantine facility

2020-10-06  Staff Reporter

Committee dispels community fears over quarantine facility
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Cecilia Iyambo

Residents of Kangweru in Ndonga-Linena constituency of Kavango East were relieved following an intervention by the region’s social mobilisation committee, who recently held an information-sharing meeting at the village to provide clarity regarding a particular guest house in that village that is currently being used as a quarantine facility.

As part of the preventative measures to curb the spread of Covid-19, the ministry of health identified accommodation facilities all over the country, where people who are diagnosed with the virus could be isolated or quarantined. 
When the residents of Kangweru learned that a guest house in their village was being utilised as a quarantine facility, it sparked fears among residents, with some allegedly accusing their village headman of deliberately availing the facility. 
During a recent information-sharing roadshow conducted by the region’s Covid-19 social mobilisation committee, which consists of officials from the ministry of information, regional council and health ministry, the team visited the village, where they held a meeting with the villagers to clear the matter. 

The villagers were informed of the procedures of identifying quarantine facilities in the region and the importance thereof. They were also assured of the measures in place to ensure that those in quarantine do not come in contact with the village residents.
Additionally, the villagers were afforded an opportunity to engage with officials from the ministry to dispel rumours and myths about the virus. 
Some villagers expressed dissatisfaction with how the ministry was handling matters with individuals with mental disorders and their caretakers. They stated that they felt excluded, as the information provided does not state anything regarding the mentally disabled and how they should be taken care of during the pandemic.
Village headman Laurentius Mashika advised residents to continue adhering to the health regulations and avoid the spreading of false information. 

Mashika also informed the residents that it was not in his power to select quarantine facilities but the ministry. Moreover, he encouraged the residents to avoid unnecessary travelling and large gatherings. 
Mashika applauded the committee for the initiative, adding that it almost caused chaos at the village. “It is a good thing that you came here yourselves so that they can hear the message from the horse’s mouth. I am also glad that you came to speak in the language that they understand,” he said.  The committee also distributed face masks to the elderly at the village. The Kavango East region currently has over 140 confirmed cases, 109 recoveries and four deaths.

2020-10-06  Staff Reporter

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