Tuesday, November 24, 2020
Health And Welfare

Spreading COVID-19 awareness to communities


Based in Hluhluwe, KwaZulu-Natal, Akehlulwalutho Community Organisation is educating learners about the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and helping to enforce social distancing and practising good hand hygiene habits at schools. Members of the organization assist by checking people’s temperatures and maintain social distancing at grant pay-out points.

“We work with the South African Social Security Agency’s (SASSA) staff to enforce social distancing and check temperatures. If we record temperature above 38 degrees Celsius, we arrange for the person to be tested for COVID-19,” said Thobile Sizani, Founder of Akehlulwalutho.

Akehlulwalutho started its COVID-19 awareness programme in early April and has also partnered with the National Development Agency (NDA) to raise more awareness and help elderly people who have comorbidities, by fetching their chronic medication from local clinics and delivering it to their homes.“The elderly and those with comorbidities have been classified as high-risk patients. If they go and queue at a clinic for their medication, they are risking contracting COVID-19,” explained Sizani.

As part of SASSA’s efforts to raise awareness about COVID-19, it has partnered with 52 civil society organisations (CSOs) across the country. Through this partnership. The NDA ensured training for the CSOs, with provincial teams from the departments of social development and health, SASSA and municipalities. To date, the NDA has provided assistance to over 76 000 households.

The CSOs have employed 520 people as part of the programme. “They assist communities with various registrations to access government relief funds, such as the SASSA Social Relief of Distress Grant and the Department of Agriculture’s Disaster Relief Fund for small-scale farmers,” added NDA Chief Executive Officer, Thamo Mzobe.

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