Peacekeepers from Bangladesh deployed with UNMISS in Wau, South Sudan, recently trained students at the Catholic Health Training Institute here on preventing and mitigating the effects of COVID-19. Photo by Alahayi Nemaya/UNMISS
In Wau, as across South Sudan and the world, efforts to combat COVID-19 are ongoing.
Recently, peacekeepers from Bangladesh serving with the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) teamed up with the Catholic Health Training Institute to raise awareness among students at the Institute on preventing transmission of the Coronavirus.
Peacekeepers used interactive demonstrations as well as pictorial information to teach students about handling COVID-19 patients while keeping themselves safe and healthy.
“As the pandemic continues to cast a pall around the world, all medical personnel must be equipped with the necessary tools and knowledge about caring for COVID-19 patients, without compromising on their own health,” says Lieutenant-Colonel Asheq Zaman, a medical doctor from Bangladesh deployed to Wau.
“This is especially important if you’re a medical student,” he adds.
Rhoda Kiden, a 23-year-old student training to be a nurse says that she found the training to be extremely helpful.
“I have learnt so much,” says Rhoda. “I now know all the emergency procedures I might need to undertake if I am caring for a patient diagnosed with COVID-19, including chest compressions, respiratory recession and, most importantly, how to protect myself while I’m providing medical care,” she avers.
“In terms of preventative measures, such as physical distancing, using facemasks and washing or sanitizing hands, this was a useful refresher as well,” she adds.
Rhoda’s fellow student, Deng Apuk, feels that trickling down the information they gained from Bangladeshi peacekeepers is key.
“In remote areas, many people aren’t aware of the measures they need to follow to be virus-free,” reveals Deng. “I’m going to take it upon myself to spread awareness of these recommended measures by the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization among my neighbours, friends and my entire community in the hope that they will, in turn, educate others.”
For its part, the Catholic Health Training Institute has put all measures in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among its students though a few gaps had remained in terms of compliance.
According to Kimali Rose, a teacher at the Institute, the sensitization provided by Bangladeshi peacekeepers will go a long way in ensuring that students practice all preventative measures.
“We were struggling a bit to make our students understand the gravity of the pandemic,” reveals Kimali. “But with this detailed session, UNMISS peacekeepers have made sure that students are aware of how risky COVID-19 is and how quickly they can contract it. So, I am sure they will be more vigilant in following all precautions to keep themselves safe and healthy.”