Mali Health is dedicated to working with communities to strengthen local health systems, so that all mothers and children can stay healthy and have access to quality care. During the past eight months, we have continued to mobilize communication events and activities to help inform peri-urban communities in Bamako about COVID-19 and how to stay safe. Since the beginning of the year, our activities have included:
1. Education talks on COVID-19
Since the beginning of the pandemic, our community health workers have continued to visit the families in their care, ensuring both the continuity of maternal and child healthcare and sharing information about COVID-19. They make sure mothers and caregivers understand what COVID-19 is, methods of transmission, how to prevent it, as well as symptoms and how to respond. Since January, they have conducted 2,810 talks in households during their home visits, reaching 4,973 people.
In addition to sharing information during home visits, our team is also sharing information at savings group meeting, which have been able to restart safely. So far, 310 talks during group meetings have reached 4,941 women.
2. COVID-19 Caravan
From mid-May to mid-June, we conducted 13 caravans in communities across all 6 Communes of Bamako, and Mandé:
The messages shared during the caravan were those developed by the national health authorities, including a definition of COVID-19, its spread, its symptoms, and the risks of infection. The caravans were held in public, accessible locations, including schools, markets, and open fields. We estimate to have reached about 46,000 people during these caravans, including 18,500 women, 10,500 men, and 17,000 school-aged children.
3. Radio programming
We developed and produced two 30-minute radio programs about COVID-19 prevention on two different subjects – how to remain vigilant about COVID-19 prevention and how to manage distancing and contact with someone who is suspected to be COVID-19 positive. We also developed informational radio spots to encourage continued use of barrier measures and to combat misinformation. They also covered three key subjects being encountered in the communities we serve: stigma against recovering COVID-19 patients, protecting vulnerable populations (particularly elders), and how to manage suspected contacts. The spots are being broadcast 180 times on radio stations across Bamako.
A special thank you to IZUMI Foundation, GlobalGiving, and Fonds d’Appui à l’Autonomisation de la Femme et à l’Epanouissement de l’Enfant (FAFE) for their continued support of our COVID_19 response efforts.