House visits raise Afghan COVID-19 awareness

KABUL (TOLOnews): The Ministry of Public Health is seeking to raise awareness about the coronavirus with traditional media, social media, messages from religious leaders, and also health workers who go door-to-door, according to officials.

“Along with seeking religious scholars’ help, we have used the polio vaccination volunteers, whose number is 30,000. We have community health workers, too,” the Public Health Ministry spokesman Wahidullah Mayar said.

The awareness campaign includes volunteers, such as a group of women in Parwan who go house-to-house to educate the people about the coronavirus in the central province. “We are here to tell the people this disease is very dangerous and it should be taken seriously,” said Shogufa Sediqi, a volunteer.

“We are here to make the people aware (about the coronavirus) and to help the vulnerable families. Some essential supplies will be given to them,” said Maryam Maroof, head of a welfare organization in Parwan. Parwan residents welcomed the move and called for help for vulnerable families across the country.

“The people should be helped. Their children are hungry. I know dozens of such people,” said Abdul Qadeer, a tribal elder in Parwan.

Similar campaigns have been started by local officials in different provinces, including the northern province of Faryab. “I think we will have bad days ahead as we have over 20,000 returnees–there is a need for a unified campaign,” Faryab governor Naqibullah Fayiq said.

“We have 200 beds so far. Medical equipment has not arrived from Kabul,” said Naeem Musammim, head of Faryab Public Health Directorate.