The first sixteen health workers have been trained in Somaliland out of hundreds of volunteers, who have signed up to treat CV19 patients and raise public awareness about the pandemic in markets, restaurants and IDP camps.
Abdullahi Mohamud Hassan, director of Horn of Africa Voluntary Youth Committee (HAVOYOCO), the NGO behind the training, told Radio Ergo that they have mobilised their resources to help curb the spread of the pandemic locally.
“These health workers will be part of a campaign to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus. They will work four days a week and will be equipped with a daily workplan and all the tools they need to do their work,” Abdullai said.
The training programme will continue until all the 300 volunteers who registered with the Somaliland Ministry of Health to help have been trained. The health workers will be posted to all regions of Somaliland to educate communities, especially those who have little or no access to media, about how to prevent the spread of COVID19.
Hamda Adan Guled, a participant at the training and former graduate in health sciences from Golis University, told Radio Ergo that she jumped at the chance of joining the health volunteers because she was eager to learn and contribute to the wellbeing of society.
“We were trained on how to best educate the public about proper handwashing, physical distancing and the fact that prevention is better than treatment,” Hamda said.
Dr Abdiweli Abdinur, head of the hygiene department at Somaliland’s health ministry, told Radio Ergo that his ministry plans to increase public awareness about the virus, especially among market women and men at mosques. He is buoyed by the results of the awareness campaigns they conducted over the past several weeks.
“People appear to be washing their hands more frequently and there is less crowding in public places,” Dr Abdiweli noted positively.
Niman Ismail Ali, another trained volunteer health worker, believes that he and other volunteers can help safeguard the community if they stay focused on higher goals.
“This is not the time to think about money. We are putting the interest of our community ahead of any selfish interests and we’re prepared to continue with this volunteer work for as long as it takes,” Niman said.
In early April, the Somaliland CV19 Committee issued a call to health professionals to register as volunteers and take part in national efforts to combat the deadly virus.