By: Fadhili Mwambingu
Mombasa Interfaith Covid-19 Committee, on Thursday 2 Sep 2021 through the initiative of IRD Commission organized a continued sensitization campaign on the spread of the Covid-19.
The sensitization exercise brought together market management officials, religious leaders from different faith and the Kenya Red Cross which together spearheaded the campaign at the Kongowea Market in Nyali Sub-County.
The objective of the event was to have a continuous sensitization and support by the religious leaders towards the vulnerable groups to Covid-19 Pandemic in the community.
Present at the occasion were: Sheikh Rajad chair of Mombasa County Interfaith Committee, members of Coast Interfaith Council of Clerics which include Sheikh Mahamud Abdilahi, Sheikh Mwinyi, Bishop Mudhama, Mombasa Church Forum members BishopTee, CAM Caritas Director Mrs Masibo and her Ass Director Rev. Fr John Webootsa, Rev. Fr. Richard Airo Head of IRD Commission, Sr. Emily and Sr. Caroline of Health Commission, Br. George Ouma of CAM Youth department, Rev. Fr. Joseph Mwashighadi Parish Priest Kongowea Parish, Market Superintendent Mr Ndambuki and members of Mombasa Red Cross among other prominent people.
During the event, thousands of masks and sanitizers were distributed to the market users and merchants of Kongowea to reduce the spread of Covid-19 among the population.
The leaders emphasized to the market users and business community the importance of observing MoH guidelines as containment measure towards the reduction of the spread of the virus.
The leaders stressed the use of face masks as a basic prevention measure and that people should adhere to it.
The leaders additionally said that other measures such as washing hand and proper care of the face masks were essential in keeping the virus at bay.
Addressing the media during the occasion the Archbishop of the Catholic Archdiocese of Mombasa Most Rev. Martin Kivuva Musonde reiterated that there is need for the public to adhere to the government containment measures to stop the spread of the Covid-19.
“We’re here to continue sensitizing our people on the importance of strictly observing the containment measures in order to protect themselves and their loved ones from contracting the disease,” he said.
He further added that,
“Masks should be used as part of a comprehensive strategy of measures to suppress transmission and save lives, but still the use of a mask alone is not sufficient to provide an adequate level of protection against the virus. I therefore appeal to everyone not to lower their guard but continue to observe all the measures provided by the government through MoH, and more so pray for an end of the pandemic”.
“Furthermore, despite the containment protocols put in place, there is still much more to be done in terms of knowledge, attitude and practices among citizens, as majority have remained reluctant towards observing the protocols. The government, non-governmental organizations and civil society should be in the forefront to improve sensitization in the communities to ensure that the messages are well communicated for better understanding about the effects of Covid-19,” said Most Rev. Kivuva.
In an interview with the Chairman of the Mombasa County Interfaith Covid-19 Response Committee, Sheikh Rishad Rajab noted that religious leaders are at the forefront in the Covid-19 response, in identifying and supporting different communities in the fight against the virus.
“We need to know that facing challenges and difficulties is part of life, and to walk out of this we need to team up, walk together, live together and pray together as a family. Let’s all keep it in mind that we have a responsibility to ensure that everyone is safe and living a good life,” he said.
He also encouraged the public to support the efforts of the government in curbing the transmission of the virus so that our communities can be safe and in the long run lives of the people will be saved.
According to Mary Mutheu a trader at the market, the sensitization exercise by religious was a humane and clearly demonstrates the spirit of common good despite the hard situations which has been created by Covid-19 pandemic.
“The threat of Covid-19 is not only faced by a particular community or ethnicity, but faced by everyone, therefore it teaches us that we all belong to one human race and it is important to understand the underlying message of this pandemic which is to be in solidarity with everyone; we really appreciate the good gesture of the clergy and may God bless you,” she said.
This is because religious are frequently well-positioned to respond and communicate information and teachings to their communities in times of crisis.
As such, community leaders should maintain a viable communication line with government authorities to ensure they have accurate information regarding the pandemic and preventative measures.