‘Online tools provide opportunities for citizens to fight coronavirus'

26Mar 2020
The Guardian
‘Online tools provide opportunities for citizens to fight coronavirus'

AS the world struggles to contain the spread of Covid-19 infections, stakeholders recommend that social media platforms should be intensively used to educate the public.

Kenneth Simbaya.

Kenneth Simbaya, director of a non-government organisation—youth education through sports Tanzania (YES TZ), told this paper that more concerted efforts are required to win the battle.

He said that it is high time for stakeholders, government and private sector to strengthen unity and use social media and groups to continuously inform the public on essential preventive measures, updates and their rights.

“Majority of people have access to social media such as facebook and instagram, we can use them to deliver important messages on the Covid-19 situation...this task should not be left to the government, we are all responsible,” he said.

Simbaya said that the organisation is planning to reach all youth in Mbeya region to educate them on various issues including the fight against Coronavirus spread.

For her part, Yes-Tz coordinator said that the institution also uses mobile direct calls to inform health experts to ensure that the population is fed with right information.

Some of the residents in Mbeya hailed the efforts conducted by the organisation in educating the public on the pandemic disease which has taken lives of thousands of people globally.

“There is a lot to gain when someone visits a social media platform, I have been using facebook for years and I have seen that it is one of the platforms where education about Covid-19 should be highly posted,” said Jesca Mwaipaja one of the city’s residents.

Meanwhile, Mbeya regional medical officer Dr Salum Manyatta urged the public to adhere to experts’ advices, take precautions on Covid-19 for them to stay safe during this period.

In a statement availed to the media yesterday, Dr Manyatta said that despite the fact that the regional had not registered any cases of the disease, the public have to ensure that all preventive measures are well adhered to.

He noted that COVID-19 is characterised by mild symptoms including a runny nose, sore throat, cough, and fever. Illness can be more severe for some people and can lead to pneumonia or breathing difficulties.

“The precautions involve personal hygiene, washing hands with soap, avoiding physical contact with others and covering the mouth when coughing,” Dr Manyatta noted.

He also urged the residents to cancel unnecessary travels. . “Whenever you see someone with Covid-19 symptoms, report him/her to responsible authorities for immediate measures,” Dr Manyatta added.