Like many countries around the world, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is recording more cases of COVID-19 on a daily basis. With zero cases registered in the communities within its area of influence so far, our Kinsevere operation is focusing on prevention and education as the best way to block the spread of the pandemic.
After presenting the Kinsevere community response to COVID-19 to local authorities in early May, education and awareness activities were launched on 15 May 2020. These activities included training the trainer workshops on infection prevention and control, with technical support from the World Health Organisation (WHO). This workshop and associated activities were fully funded by Kinsevere, with the objective to share accurate information to stakeholders about the spread and prevention of the disease.
Six training sessions were held over three days, with participants including community members, local leaders and health workers. A total of 127 people were trained, which included seven village chiefs, 17 health workers and volunteers and other community leaders around the Kinsevere operation. The themes focused on transmission methods and the adoption of barrier measures, including correct hand washing for at least 20 seconds under running water. In addition to the basic information about COVID-19, the healthcare workers in the area received specific training from the WHO facilitators on how to identify suspected cases through clinical signs and how treatment should be done in partnership with the provincial health ministry.
All the sessions were introduced by a member of Kinsevere’s Social Development team, who briefly presented the project which aims to strengthen the capabilities of host communities, health centres and leaders to respond to COVID-19, to improve health indicators and contribute to the national health effort.
In addition to the workshops, Kinsevere is installing 100 hand washing stations and sanitisers in markets and other public places in villages. Kinsevere also supplied community leaders with 2,000 masks, disposable gloves and megaphones to broadcast messages to community members in public places. The Secteur office is also equipped with two ambulances, acquired through the regular payment of mining royalties.
It is important that local leaders, communities and Kinsevere remain vigilant in the face of the ongoing COVID-19 risk. The main precautionary and preventive measures remain our best defences: compulsory wearing of masks, hand washing with soap, use of disinfectant, coughing into elbows and avoidance of physical contact.
Together with the WHO and the Kipushi health zone staff, preparation for the response to the COVID-19 pandemic is visible and appreciated by communities. Special recognition must also be given to the Chef de Secteur for all the effort made in being involved in the awareness of and fight against COVID-19.
See here for more information about how MMG is working with its host communities to support COVID-19 responses.
Pictured: Distribution of hand washing kits to the group leader in Kifindo.
- L-R: Gilbert Musasa, Community development advisor; Jean Marie Kazadi, Head of sector and Delille Kizanga, head doctor of Kipushi’s area, officially receive the two ambulances for the community along the Kasenga road.
- Participant of the COVID-19 control team.