CHESTRAD global has flagged our Community Collectives and Citizens action against Covid19 (COMCOVID) hubs across communities in Osun state as part of a 3-day medical outreach initiative. The medical outreach visited Ilesha in Ilesa East, Olode in Ife South, and Iloko in Oriade Local Government Areas. The three local governments host citizens’ hubs where training and information will be shared to mitigate the effect of COVID-19 on the healthcare system and economic productivity in communities; especially the impact on vulnerable women and young people.
The 3-day outreach focused on providing advisory on Covid-19 associated risks with relevant information on management and mitigation against vaccine hesitancy in the communities through the citizens’ hubs. Leading the team with a health talk was Dr. Bello Ibrahim who tutored the citizens on ways of preventing COVID-19 infection. Dr. Ibrahim emphasized the importance of vaccination which, according to him, will fortify the immune system against the dreaded disease.
The participants of the medical outreach were encouraged to adhere to non-pharmaceutical protocols such as wearing of face masks as well as observance of other COVID-19 preventive measures. No fewer than 40 medical personnel were at hand to attend to hundreds of participants at the dierent citizens’ hubs. The medical personnel were doctors, nurses, laboratory scientists, health information officials, optometrists as well as dentists.
Implemented in Lagos, Osun, Oyo states and across a broad range of national and sub-national stakeholders, the overarching goals of COMCOVID19 are to;
(a) expand the coverage of COVID19 interventions and support vaccine introduction through citizen’s action, infodemic management and integrated PHC policy development; and
(b) Informing and influencing actions with respect to accountability by increasing the role of media including social media influencers in dispelling misinformation on COVID-19 vaccines.
Lessons from the polio campaigns, HIV and immunization firmly suggest that citizen’s action and PHC systems integration are not only keys to reaching the last mile but also to the sustainability of achievements. The inclusion of these important workstreams into COMCOVID19 will promote not only sustainability but have the potential to cascade its outcomes into a broader movement on vaccine hesitancy, infodemic management and accountability.