Caption: Team HUMAES hold public debate on City FM in Juba South Sudan (HUMAES) June 27 2020.
COVID 19 cases are sky rocketing in South Sudan due to inadequate information about Ministry of Health warnings and Government Directives to prevent the spread of COVID 19.
The majority of NGOs are not using the radio approach to create awareness to local communities on precautionary measures. As a result many people still lack information on the prevention of COVID 19.
On June 27 2020, HUMAES successfully conducted a public debate on City FM Radio in Juba to educate the Juba community on Ministry of Health warnings and Government Directives with the aim to help the community monitor whether the warnings and directives are being followed by the community and put right erroneous rumours which are circulating about COVID 19.
Out of 6 total calls, 5 (83%) said that communities are not following the Ministry of Health warnings and Government Directives on social distancing, frequent hand washing, use of face masks in public places etc. Only 1 person (17%) said communities in Juba are following Ministry of Health warnings and Government Directives.
HUMAES described the activity to the Citizen’s Task Force on COVID -19 to look for community feedback on the public debate. The Citizen’s Task Force on COVID-19 is a WhatsApp group working to combat the effects on the population of COVID-19. People were very happy with the public debate. Mr. Alex Daniel Digi, who is a member of the Task Force remarked, “We would like to have such activities here in Yambio. Here, people have forgotten about COVID 19, and some radio stations do not reach the Yambio area.”
The major challenge faced by HUMAES is inadequate funding to conduct more public debates. On average, a one hour radio talk show in Juba costs $120 plus $20 for recording.