Government should involve our community at grassroot level to control Covid-19…..

Government should involve our community at grassroot level to control #Covid-19…....

(By Dr Jemal Markos)

Epidemic control policies require voluntary compliance. This requires that experts and common people have a shared understanding of the epidemiology of the infection. Given that transmission patterns are determined by social factors that are local and intimate, which epidemiologists cannot learn in real time but which community members know, this requires joint learning between experts and affected communities.

Time and again in emergencies, those in positions of political power and scientific authority argue that there is no time to lose and the best practices must be implemented at once with minimum time given to consult with the affected people.

Currently, experts do not know what alternatives to a comprehensive lockdown may exist, or what local variants of isolation, movement restriction, contact tracing and quarantine might be viable. That’s because they haven’t asked. There is no time to lose: community consultations should begin now. Communities may well find creative ways of protecting the most at risk.

Experience with Ebola suggests that in most African settings, centralised state control is less likely to be effective, and more likely to generate mistrust. It also reminds us, sharply, that epidemics and their responses are social and political phenomena that involve much more than ‘disease’. They evoke (and can be harnessed to incite) broader, and historically-embedded, aims and anxieties whether linked to political-economic relations, foreign intervention, conflict or social control. Thus some West African populations interpreted Ebola and response efforts as fabrications of foreign or governmental agencies variously seeking political power, genocide or land dispossession. They reacted accordingly, sometimes with violence (Wilkinson and Fairhead 2016).

Evidence suggests pandemics can have significant social and political consequences, it can amplify existing political tensions and spark unrest creating clashes between states and citizens, eroding state capacity, driving population displacement, and heightening social tension and discrimination. In countries like Ethiopia where trust between state and peoples complicated with complex historical and political memories, top down control approach may not bring any fruit.

Public health officials also need to identify and address misinformation, rumors, and anxieties. This can be a significant challenge. During the 2014 West Africa Ebola epidemic, many communities reached for culturally familiar explanations of disease transmission and rejected disease control practices that clashed with their traditional healing and burial practices (Roca and others 2015). Still other individuals spread rumors about the source of the infection; for example, in Liberia some community leaders claimed that the disease was created by the government (Epstein 2014).

Rumors can impede disease control and can be amplified by mistrust of government officials, which is a significant challenge in poor countries with high levels of corruption or legacies of violent conflict and social division. Research has found that in unstable contexts, people tend to believe rumors that confirm their preexisting beliefs and anxieties (Greenhill and Oppenheim 2017). This finding suggests that countering rumors with facts alone will not be sufficient. Risk communications need to be both factual and empathetic, addressing unfolding events and underlying fears through the lens of community experiences, histories, and perceptions.


Dhibee daddarbaan Koronaa Vaayiresii addunyaa raasuu eega jalqabee ji’oota sadii dabarsee jira. Dhukkubni kun dursa biyyoota warra waan “hundumaan of geenyeerra” jedhan keessatti jalqabuun isaa muuxannoo fi barnoota irraa argachuuf silaa nuuf carraa guddaa ture.
Dhibeen kun namarraa namatti kan inni darbu walitti dhihaachuu akkasumas waan namni dhukkubsataan sun tuqe tuquudhaan akka ta’e beekamaa ta’ee osoo jiruu of eeggannoon uummanni keenya gochaa jiru baayyee gadi aanaadha.

Yeroo dhihoo asittimmoo akka waan dhibeen sun tasuma hin jirreetti fudhatamee gabayaanis, walga’iin amantiis, jireenyi hawaasummaa kanneen akka ayyaana walfaana kabajachuus akkuma duriitti itti fufee jira.Gochaaleen booda gatii guddaa nu kafalchiisuuf deeman kunniin amala dhibee kanaa fi miidhaa inni geessisuu danda’u hubachuu dhabuurraa Kan maddanidha.

Tokkoffaa, dhibeen kun babal’achuu jalqabnaan akkuma biyyoota tokko tokko keessatti arginu awwaalanii fixuun illee hin danda’amu. Lammaffaa, maatii keessaa namni tokko dhukkubsannaan yerosuma kutaa biraa keessatti daangeeffamee eenyullee osoo bira hin ga’in hanga fayyutti yookiin du’utti turuu qaba. Sadaffaa, uummata keenya keessaa maatii meeqatu nama hundaaf kutaa adda addaa qaba?Af uraffaa, manuma tokko keessa wajjiin jiraatu taanaan ammoo maatiin sun dhume jechuudha.

Shanaffaa, akka tasaa yoo du’e, maatiin bira ga’uu waan dandeenyeef, ambulaansonni ga’aanis sababa hin jirreef, reeffa eenyutu kaasuuf jira?
Jahaffaa, namni tokko yoo dhukkuba kanaan qabamee bira taa’anii wal’aannachuun, dubbisuun, rakkoo isaarratti gargaaruun, yoo du’e booanii awwaallatanii garaa kutachuun hin jiru. Kun uummata keenya biratti kan hubatame hin fakkaatu. Akka tilmaama WHOtti danbaliin dhibee kanaa yeroo dhihootti gara Afriikaatti garagala.

Haata’u malee, qaamonni dhibee kana olola siyaasaa fakkeessanii akka uummanni keenya of hin eegganne gochaa jiran mul’ataa jiru. Kun yakka gaddaadha, cubbuu guddaadhas.
Rakkoo bor gahuuf jiruuf itti gaafatama guddaa fudhachuu akka qaban beekuu qabu.
Qaamni siyaasaa yeroo kana walga’ii waamu, hoggantoonni waldaalee amantii yeroo kana uummata walitti yaasan, qaamoleen hawaasaa yeroo kana ayyaana kamiinillee kabajuuf uummata walitti qaban fixiinsa sanyiitiin himatamuu qabu. Uummanni keenyas sababii kamiifillee, eenyuunillee yoo waamame nama afuri ol ta’ee akka wal hin geenye akeekkachiifna.
Harka keessan dhiqachuu hin irraanfatinaa!
Harka wal hin qabinaa!
Walirraa faffagaadhaa!
Yoo baayyee murteessaa ta’e malee manaa
hin ba’inaa !
Eenyullee yoo isin waame walga’ii hin
Yeroo nama bira teessan afaan fi funyaanitti
Geejiba uummataa fayyadamuurra yoo
danda’ame miila/ lukaan deemaa!

Yoo kun hin taane ammoo

Bekele Gerba

Lessons For African Rulers!

1. The British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson contracted the novel coronavirus in the line of duty. #Leadership

2. Even at that, he continued to discharge his duty from his self-isolation centre. #Commitment

3. When his situation became worse and he couldn’t carry on any longer, the British Foreign Secretary (Dominic Raab) stepped in for him. #Structure

4. He was not taken abroad for treatment. #System

5. He is being treated at St Thomas Hospital right there in London. #Patriotism.

6. The hospital is a public hospital where anyone can walk in and be treated. #Equality.

7. The media has been giving the world constant update about his health. #Trasnperency!

8. The opposition party is also wishing him well because he has shown great leadership. #CountryFirst

9. When he was moved to the intensive care unit of the hospital, it wasn’t shrouded in secrecy. #Accountability.

In conclusion: Leadership is not about the leader. It is about the people. Until Africans understand this, they will continue to rule (and be ruled) rather than lead (and be led).

Source (Ugo Chikezie)