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Mombasa residents want more public campaigns on the Covid-19 pandemic

 KNA A cross section of Mombasa residents wants the government to carry out more public sensitization campaigns on the Covid-19 pandemic.
 
They welcomed the launch of the countrywide Covid-19 Third Wave Sensitization Campaigns by the State Department of Broadcasting and Telecommunications through the Office of the Government Spokesperson.
 
Residents said the just concluded second phase of the public sensitization campaign will go a long way in enlightening the people on what needs to be done to stem further spread of the contagion.
 
Those interviewed by KNA said public sensitization initiatives are necessary to increase public confidence in the uptake of Covid-19 vaccines and reinforce basic prevention measures such as mask wearing and social distancing.
 
They contend that the government needs to maintain the momentum of widening public awareness on Covid-19 to end fear and uncertainty surrounding the disease.
 
The residents said such campaigns will help reinforce key messages on preventative measures such as hand washing, mask wearing and physical distancing which still remains the most effective ways to fight the pandemic that has disrupted economies around the globe.
 
Area County Commissioner (CC), Gilbert Kitiyo, noted that the public-spirited campaign will help in mitigating the third wave and the need for extra vigilance to curtail a surge in Covid-19 cases.
 
The CC lauded the Ministry of ICT, Innovations and Youth Affairs for the public campaigns, saying through such initiatives the people will become aware of the fact that the infectious disease is here with us and that they need to take precautions to protect themselves.
 
He noted that such campaigns are necessary to debunk rumours and myths surrounding the coronavirus which are usually spread through social media.
 
“As a government we have the responsibility to counter the myths and misinformation in the public domain and fight back against Covid-19,” he said.
 
Rukia Ali, a resident of Likoni, said it’s only the government that can pass fact-based public health messages on the virus that can help the public make informed choices about their health.
 
She said the campaign took place at a time the general public had dropped their guard against the disease as seen in low levels of mask-wearing and sanitization.
 
“Such campaigns will urge the people to recommit to following public health guidelines to stay safe,” she said.
 
Andrew Kazungu, a resident of Mwandoni area of Kisauni Sub-county said public sensitization campaigns will help the public take steps to protect themselves, their families and their communities.
 
The weeklong public sensitization campaign across the six Sub- counties of Mombasa highlighted the importance of good hygiene practices, frequent and thorough hand washing with soap and running water, wearing of facemasks and using hand sanitizers to stem the tide against the virus.
 
Mombasa sensitization team that used three vehicles mounted with public address systems to criss-cross the coastal city also distributed facemasks to residents.
 
Ali Yussuf a trader in Bamburi area of Mombasa said there is need for continuous similar public engagements to combat the vaccine uptake hesitancy that is blamed on lies and misinformation surrounding the coronavirus vaccinations that threatens to slow down vaccination efforts.
 
He said there is also the need to incorporate free distribution of facemasks and sanitizers during such public education campaigns.
 
“People are more likely to trust information passed through such awareness campaigns as it is authentic,” he said.
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