OIUSA/Canada Health & Media PSA
COVID-19 Vaccination Outreach
As a consequence of the growing worldwide spread of Coronavirus variants and the hesitancy by the Ikwerre and other communities in Rivers State to get vaccinated, it becomes imperative for OIUSA/Canada Health Outreach to team up with our Media to consider a Public Service Announcement (PSA) in Nigeria. At the same time, we continue to raise funds and prepare for our next Medical and Surgical Mission. Hence, a meeting was held on the 26th of September, 2021, to strategize and finalize the path forward.
The key decisions made at this meeting were as follows:
- Banners and Fliers will no longer be used but rather the following shall be considered;
¨ Radio and TV PSA in Ikwerre and Pidgin English languages to be utilized
¨ Chiefs and Traditional Rulers to be utilized
¨ Community Opinion leaders to be utilized
¨ Women meetings and Women leaders to be utilized
¨ Social Media to be utilized
¨ Leaderships of older community Churches to be utilized
Emphasis shall be on the following:
- That COVID-19 is real, and refusal to get vaccinated would be at one’s peril. They should note that dead people do not attend church services.
- People should follow the use of masks, social distancing, and other guidelines from NCDC.
- To exercise cautionary measures when visiting or attending burials. They should avoid being the first to visit peoples’ homes once death has been announced. If possible, people should avoid crowds and avoid attending funerals. If they must attend, they must follow the required COVID-19 protocols by NCDC.
OIUSA/ Canada mobilized resources to produce two PSA messages in Ikwerre Language and Pidgin English following the above decisions. These messages reemphasized the three safety points stated above on COVID-19. The messages have been on the local radio station, Garden City FM 89.9, as radio jingles since November (25th - 30th) and December (04th - to date). In addition, these video messages have gone viral on social media effective November 25th, 2021 to date.
Knowing the prevalent hesitancy among the people about COVID-19 vaccination, the committee established a mechanism to monitor progress/response and make amendments as necessary to ensure success. A committee member was also available on the ground that coordinated the performance of local efforts and confirmed progressive response to the message.
Indeed, some members of OIUSA/Canada got positive feedback on the impact of our message, which made a significant number of people get vaccinated.
This helpful field report further confirmed that the second phase II mission was essential to enhance the local messaging efforts from key government agencies like the NCDC.
This report will be further updated once additional information is obtained from the local team on the ground.
OIUSA/Canada is gearing up for our next Free Full Medical/Surgical Mission to help the underprivileged, and we will continue to need your support.
Chairman Media/RR Committee.