Free COVID-19 testing, masks, sanitizers, and information sharing
Key highlights from UNICEF-supported COVID-19 community awareness activities
As the COVID-19 vaccination campaign rollout continues, introducing the vaccine one state at a time, UNICEF in partnership with the Ministry of Health, remain on the ground to reinforce safe habits like physical distancing, handwashing, sanitizing and wearing masks to control the spread of the virus.
In Khartoum state, the nation’s capital, and state with the highest number of confirmed cases, UNICEF and partners organized social mobilization events to provide communities with information on the COVID-19 pandemic, prevention measures and the importance of adhering to these measures.
The main activities carried out in the three locations of Khartoum Central Market, Bahri – Shambat Square and Umdurman – Khalifa Square, included:
- Free testing of COVID-19 for the community.
- Drawing of wall murals through the engagement of youth artists to reflect three messages about COVID-19 prevention measures like wearing masks, stopping hand shaking and practicing frequent hand washing in the surrounded area of each location.
- Distribution of free fabric facemasks and hand sanitizers to both adults and children.
As the lead agency responsible for risk communication and community engagement interventions in the national COVID-19 response, UNICEF is ensuring that people have accurate and correct information needed to contain the spread of the disease.
Here are the key highlights from the various locations in the capital:
Community members waiting in line to enter the event area (Khartoum – Central Market). At all locations, social distancing was observed as well as other COVID-19 preventive measures.
In Bahri – Shambat Square, school children listen attentively to health promoters as they inform them about COVID-19 preventive measures and respond to their questions.
A child and a woman have their samples taken using a swab in Bahri – Shambat Square. COVID-19 testing services were also provided by professional health workers in all locations.
Health promoters distribute reusable masks to children and demonstrate how they are properly worn. Wearing masks is a key preventive measure of COVID-19.
The children flash V signs after receiving free masks and sanitizers. These were provided to all who attended. Over 17,000 masks and about 18,200 bottles of sanitizers were distributed.
COVID-19 testing services by professional health workers were available using rapid test kits provided by UNICEF. Over 600 people were tested at the various locations and results provided after a few minutes.
To reinforce COVID-19 preventive measures, youth group volunteers painted murals on walls of the National Stadium as part of awareness raising activities in Khartoum – Central Market. The murals reflected three main messages about COVID-19 prevention measures like wearing masks (on the left), stopping hand shaking (on the right) and practicing frequent hand washing.
Health promoters were also available to provide participants with information on the COVID-19 pandemic, the prevention measures, and the importance of adhering to these measures. In addition, they were also providing basic information on the COVID-19 vaccine and answering people’s questions.