By Fatou Dahaba
Young Social Scientist Association with funding from Africel, Gambia and Sbec International embarked on two days covid_19 risk communication and education in four communities in West Coast Region.
They reached out to these communities through school and communication gathering. Schools and communities visited were Mandour community, Penyem Upper and Senior Secondary School, Busura lower basic school and community as well as Dasilammi.
The team gives out hand sanitizer and face masks to each of the schools and communities visited.
The councilor of Marakissa ward Lamin Jarju thanks the organisers for such an initiative which he said will go a long way in combating the novel Corona virus in the country. He added that they will make best use of the donated items and observe the WHO health guidelines. He urged the his people to utilize the information that were shared by various speakers. Jarju stressed out that covid_19 has affected almost every sector in the Gambia.
Foday Ceesay medical personnel told the people of Mandour to always visit hospital when they are sick because some signs of covid_19 are asymptomatic while sometimes it shows symptoms.
He advised that the fear of been stigmatized and stereotype should be a think of the pass because while at home you can infect others without your knowledge and other sickness may also develop without your notice. Meanwhile he explained that having Corona and been sick are two different things.
Ceesay also said regular hand washing and proper wearing of face mask will help to curtain the spread of the virus. He emphasised that the negative impact of Corona has really affect every aspect of the country from financial, social, educational to economic.
Isatou Jarju a native of Mandour thank the association on behalf of her community, adding the sanitisers and face masks are well appreciated but they wish the support is strengthen to other areas like learning materials and feeling.
At Dasilammi, Babucarr Ceesay president of YSSA said the spread of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the Gambia affects the entire sectors of the economy as well as life and livelihoods with rural and farming communities most affected by observation. This he said could exacerbate the rate of poverty and unemployment in the country among other devastating effects if containment interventions are not taken. In that, the Association decides to complement Government’s efforts in educating the people on COVID-19 to contain its spread.
All these farming communities are located in the West Coast Region which according to the Ministry of Health’s statistics is amongst the most effected in terms of affection rate.
Ceesay went on saying educating members of these communities on the COVID-19 will not only help in the containment of the spread of the virus, but will also prepared them better as border communities to Senegal to prevent themselves and others from contracting the virus.
According to WHO, the best way to prevent and slow down transmission is be well informed about the COVID-19 virus, its causes and how it spreads, he noted.
“Corona is not gone is still around, let’s put on our masks alll times and wash our hands regularly with this you can protect yourself and people around you because as people move they take along the virus.”
However some are still in doubt if the virus really exists.
Kawsu Bojang from Dasilammi said why all the dead toll are covid related, what happens to other dieseas like malaria, nemonia etc. He said according to experts there is no cure for the virus but people still recorver from covid.
Isatou Jatta from YSSA said one can only doubt Corona if you are not infected or no anyone who is infected. She said contracted the virus and was taking to the sanitarium for treatment for one week as she has difficulty in breathing, later she was transferred to a hotel for recovery.
She explained that at sanitarium she saw patients whose conditions are worst and when they cough you tend to asked if they are human. She said Corona exists and it kills so fast especial the old age and those with hypotension, asthma etc.
Modou Torp from Dasilammi asked whether the virus is manmade or nature, also whether the team is sent by government, red Cross or on their own. He added that has there been any impact on the role of the red Cross because they are in the forefront as frontliners since the outbreak of the virus.
Lamin Sonko from YSSA said they are not send by government or any departure, he said this is a task they took upon themselves to compliment government efforts in combating Corona virus. He added that red Cross did well in the fight and it has impacted because cases are now dropping. He urged the community to go for testing.
Similar meeting was held at Penyem and Busura lower basic school.
The Gambian economy has nosedived because of the effects of the coronavirus as the small nation expects an estimated 20% decline in revenue.
President Adama Barrow told lawmakers during a State of the Nation address that the gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to decline from 6% to 2% as a result of the pandemic.
The decline in import volumes and economic activities will correspondingly lead to shortfalls in import duties and other tax revenues, said Barrow. “Based on the current situation, an estimated twenty percent of the expected revenue will be lost.”
In addition, tax revenues are expected to drop by 2.3 billion dalasi ($43.5 million) as the fiscal deficit is expected to widen by 2.1%.
Young Social Scientists Association is nonpolitical, religious, or ethnic Association. It comprises members from different sexes, age, social, religious, ethnic backgrounds and different walks of life, with the sole aim of enhancing development at grassroots level through research and volunteerism.
The Association works with the government, private sector, philanthropists, and local authorities to implement its objectives.