USACF is working with colleagues in Zimbabwe to bring urgently needed Covid-19 information to over 200,000 people. We’ve launched “Covid-19 Information, Prevention, and Response (CIPR) – Delivering And Sharing Covid-19 Information and Prevention Strategies to People in Rural Areas” in consortium with three local NGO’s: Community Action to Achieve Prosperity Trust, Inkanyezi Development Trust, and Asakhe Trust. Working closely with local stakeholders and with the provincial Districts Civil Protection Units the CIPR program will use a flexible, multipronged approach to reach people living in rural Zimbabwe. Thousands of fliers (with information in English and Ndebele) will be disseminated. Posters will be put up at hundreds of places including shops and boreholes. CIPR staff will use a range of approaches to share materials (including audio clips and videos) across the community via SMS, WhatsApp, and Messenger. The program will establish “CIPR Centers” where people will be able to electronically access (at no cost) information and resources, while practicing social distancing. The centers will be based on the innovative “Bridge Pi” technology, developed by USACF and CAAP Trust, which has been rolled out in 11 schools in Zimbabwe. The Bridge Pi is our low-cost, portable, solar-powered, digital library that can be accessed easily from mobile phones (without data fees), other gadgets, and devices such as flat screens. CIPR staff will load the best information available from the government and from around the world, including documents, audio files, and short videos.
Unfortunately the likelihood is that in the coming weeks local health care systems will be overwhelmed by Covid-19 patients. During that time people with non-virus health care issues needing medical attention will face major challenges. The CIPR Centers will fill an important gap by providing access to extensive medical resources including a complete medical encyclopedia and extensive resources from well-respected sources NGO’s, capacitating villagers to respond to normal health care issues while the hospitals are over-burdened.
We are gathering resources from WHO, CDC, and government websites across Africa and sharing them with our colleagues in the Zimbabwe. We are working to begin getting information to the public in the coming days.