In Nepal, hardly anyone spoke about Corona in February 2020, everyday life took its normal course, but the number of cases increased worldwide. In our remote and sometimes difficult to access project areas, the majority of the residents have no access to television, radio or social media to find out about current world events. Many cannot read or write and are already at the limit with the burden of their daily struggle for existence.
From mid-February until the state-wide school closings on March 19, we carried out awareness programs at our project schools, the birth centers and in the project villages. Our aim was to inform people about Corona and how to protect against infection at an early stage. We reached 7,000 students and around 30,000 villagers.
THEORETICAL KNOWLEDGE | In the theoretical part they received information about the corona virus and its spread. They were given a detailed description of the symptoms and how to recognize them. Then it was discussed how a family should behave if they feared to be ill. This topic is very important as some fear stigmatization and may therefore not contact you. Our team clearly explained the important hygiene rules and urged them to follow them – to protect their own family.
Questions could be asked, which our team answered. It was also discussed what each individual can do to keep Corona out of their village.
Our office in Kathmandu has produced picture posters for the purpose of clarification, which bundle and illustrate all important information. We had these printed and hung up everywhere in our project villages. In this way, the villagers do not forget how much they can do to stay healthy.
PRACTICAL TRAINING | In the practical part, correct hand washing was practiced, which should last for at least 20 seconds. Schoolchildren, but also adults, were amazed at how quickly they would otherwise – without a stopwatch – do it Wash your hands take care of.
KEEP YOUR DISTANCE | In addition, “social distancing” was practiced in the form of small role-playing games. How do you hand over goods? How do you meet the neighbor? Who are you close to and who are you far?
We made these new rules of conduct clear through games and explained why this will be important for a while.