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Rural folks need sensitization on gravity of Covid-19

There is need for the government, non-governmental organizations and the private sector to team up and sensitize people living in the rural areas on the coronavirus pandemic.
Scores of these people do not have adequate information about the virus, whose first case was reported in Kenya on March 13, 2020.
Ting’ang’a Assistant County Commissioner (ACC) in Kiambu County Caleb Nyongesa while speaking to KNA at the Ngemwa roadblock noted that most people in the area only carried the face masks in their pockets and did not know that it was meant for their own protection. “It is therefore important that they are equipped as information is power,” he added.
“Scores of the people walking from Ikinu towards Kiambu normally have the face masks but unfortunately, they are stashed away in their pockets or hanging under their chins” said Nyongesa.
“From afar, you will spot them walking casually and when they approach this roadblock they make an effort to wear the face masks as they heed to the public health officer to take their temperature,” said the ACC Nyongesa regretted that most of the people in the area tend to think they were wearing the masks for the government and that they did not know it was for their own protection.
The ACC explained to KNA that from the time the first case was reported in Kenya, most local people have been hearing it on radio and that very few of them can afford to buy newspapers so that they can read for themselves what is happening locally and internationally. A small number also own television sets to watch news, he stated.
Nyongesa revealed that when some of them are asked about the rising figures of those affected, they normally say, “Hiyo ni ya watu wa Nairobi” (that is for Nairobi people) and this was an indication that they did not know that they were at risk of contracting the disease, despite the fact that they were deep in the interior of Kiambu county.
Area public health officer Ms Immaculate Wandaka said she took temperatures of between 400 to 700 pedestrians per day who traversed the area with majority heading towards Kiambu town.
“In case I come across people whose temperature is high, I give them a seat to relax and then repeat testing after some time which in most cases reverts to the normal range,” she said.
Wandaka noted that since the roadblock was erected at the location, only one person’s temperature was abnormally high even, after allowing him moments to relax and that she called for an ambulance and the victim was taken for treatment.
By Lydia Shiloya

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