By our Taraba correspondent
No fewer than one hundred and sixty town criers and Ward Development Committees (WDC) were yesterday trained by the Taraba State Primary Health Care Development Agency (TAPHCDA) on community based strategies.
The training which took place in eighty out of the one hundred and sixty-eight wards in the state was said to have been geared toward reducing the volumes of rumours , myths, socio-cultural bias and other practices presently threatening the fight against Covid-19 pandemic in the state.
Speaking with our state correspondent in Jalingo, the Executive Secretary of the Agency, who said the training was made possible by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said “the eighty town criers and eighty WDC that were trained for this purpose, were drawn from eighty out of the one hundred and sixty-eight wards we have in this state. ”
While the town criers, according to him were trained and equipped with key messages that would enable them reach out to the community to dispel the myths and misinformation as well as the socio-cultural practices surrounding Covid-19, the WDC on the other hand , as stated by him, were as well assigned with the responsibilities
of empowering community governance structures with the right information to dialogue with and educate their communities appropriately.
The agency in collaboration with UNICEF, he said have “successfully trained 80 town announcers on community based infection prevention and control of COVID-19 through key messaging and community education across 80 out of 168 wards of the 16 local government councils in Taraba state”
Stressing that “technical and funding support came from UNICEF” the training of the WDC as stated by is “aimed at empowering community governance structures with the right information to dialogue with and educate their communities appropriately.”
Jauro who said the exercise ” is aimed at reducing the volume of rumour, myth, socio-cultural bias, and other non-compliant practices, said the town criers would “now be going round the communities creating more awareness on socially appropriate safety practices during the Covid-19 pandemic on the need to increase hand washing practice, avoid crowded places and ensure proper use of face masks.”
Expressing the the determinations of the agency to tread extra legitimate miles to prevent community transmission of the virus, the need for other partners to borrow leaf from the UNICEF whom, as observed by him, have being working round the clocks to herald smiles on the faces of women and children across the nooks and crannies of the state and the country at large.
He urged the trained town town criers and the WDCs to take advantage of the knowledge they have acquired from the training to affect their communities positively by working round the clocks to dish out relevant information to our rural communities so that no case of transmission of the virus would be recorded in our dear state again. ”
Some of the trained person who bared their minds with our correspondent, said they have long being yearning for an opportunity like this that would avail them the strengths contribute their quotas to the growth of their communities and to humanity at large.