LOCAL government leaders have attended capacity building training on how best to come up with plans and education strategies to check the spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
The project is implemented by ActionAid through its special awareness raising programme to impart knowledge to rural dwellers on how to protect themselves against the scourge.
Working in collaboration with the government, a timely ambitious initiative, among other things, includes building the capacity of local government leaders.
Airing their experience on the deadly disease in rural areas during the programme’s maiden training held recently in Chamwino District, Dodoma Region, the leaders said there was a need to raise public awareness on coronavirus prevention.
They said most villagers had poor understanding on the pandemic, a situation which called for serious intervention.
“In some villages there is a negative belief that Covid- 19 is an urban disease with the rich being the most vulnerable,” said Mr Benedicto Thomas, Nzali Village Executive Officer (VEO).
Moreover, it was said during the session that many rural dwellers drank a local brew believing that it protected them against the killer disease.
For his part, Mr Matimba Pascal, the Buigiri executive officer, said there was a shortage of private preventive equipment (PPEs) in rural areas, including lack of temperature testing devices.
However, generally, the local officials stressed a need for the government to cooperate with development partners to raise public awareness in rural areas, if possible, through open air public announcements (PAs).
In his presentation, training facilitator and coordinator of coronavirus services in Chamwino District, Dr Stephen Mwaisombwa, trained participants in effective use of PPEs, as well as other recommended preventive measures against the spread of coronavirus.
In her remarks, the head of the Department of Social Welfare in Chamwino District, Ms Asha Shame, said the government would continue working hard with key development partners to fight against the pandemic.
Mr Joram Wimmo, Action Aid Project Coordinator, said they were well prepared to support the government and ensure the deadly disease was eradicated across the country.
He added that the mission was also to support rural communities in the fight against the deadly diseases. Training attracted WEOs and VEOs from different wards and villages of Chamwino District.
Trainees included teachers, social welfare officers and health officers.