Gambia: Residents of Sami District Lack Enough Sensitization On COVID-19

With the prevalence of the Corona virus (COVID-19) in the country, residents of parts of CRR North have commenced efforts to prevent the spread of the virus.

Visiting the Health facility at Karantaba in the Sami District, this reporter realized the installation of a sanitizing container for visitors to wash their hands. The Officer in Charge (OIC) of the Health facility Lamin Jammeh, said he has not received any complaints regarding the virus and that they were ready and prepared to assist anyone suspected of having the virus.

The Alkalo of Karantaba Wharftown Bafoday Sisawo said after hearing the declaration of the state of emergency by the President on the Corona virus pandemic, he has reinforced efforts to sensitize his villagers; that the sensitization is to educate them on the prevention and protective measures like regular hand washing with soap, social distancing and avoiding overcrowding. As the Head of the Ward Alkalos, he has called his colleagues to also sensitize their communities in order to prevent the spread of the virus.

When contacted, the Governor of the Central River Region (CRR) Aba Sanyang could not be reached to shed light on the efforts of his office in sensitizing communities within the region, as far as COVID-19 is concerned.

However, in other communities where this reporter visited, residents had divided opinions regarding the prevalence of the Coroner virus in their communities.

While some took the existence of virus seriously and were applying measures to protect themselves, others around them did not believe its presence in the Gambia and referred to it as Western propaganda. Others believe that as people of faith, everything should be left to God; that it is only God who protects against such pandemics.

"Even if one applies all the protective measures against the virus and God ordains one's infection, there is no way to escape," one elderly man told this reporter.

In continuing his vox-pop in communities, a young man in his thirties said even though they are doing everything to protect themselves, state agents have not been seen sensitizing communities; that there are still people who do not believe that the virus exists; that he expects the National Assembly Member for the Constituency to join the sensitization in his Constituency.

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