Building Awareness to Fight and to Stop the Spread of COVID-19

 Pakistan Alliance for Early Childhood

Supported by: The United Nations Children’s Fund

Problem to be addressed

The COVID -19, reported the first case in Wuhaan, China, on November 17th 2019, has infected nearly 60 million, and has killed more than a million people in the world, so far.  It has disrupted all aspects of life across the globe and Pakistan is no exception. As in the rest of the world, it is having an unprecedented adverse impact on Pakistan’s already weak economy. Pakistan is projected to face a loss of up to 4.64 percent in GDP in 2020, because of disruptions in trade, both in imports and exports[1]. This excludes internal disruptions, such as the impact of lockdowns, disruptions in aviation, tourism, and hospitality industries, as well as declines in foreign direct investment and remittances. The brunt of the burden has started falling on the marginalized groups, including children, parents, pregnant and lactating women, rural and urban poor, and informal economy workers, who survive on daily wages, and this last group, alone, includes over 7 million poorest families in Pakistan.

Globally, the ongoing crisis could increase the number of children living in monetary poor households by up to 106 million by the end of the 2020 (UNICEF and Save the Children, 2020). Immediate loss of income often means families are less able to afford basic needs, including food and water, are less likely to access health care or education, and are more at risk of violence, exploitation and abuse (UNICEF). The crisis has affected the ability of parents, families, communities and traditional social networks to care for the children.

We in Pakistan started considering ourselves lucky as we were not hit by the virus so badly the way it has done to other countries and regions in the world, but the risk has not gone, and is coming roaring back in the second wave, for which we are not prepared. We, as a nation, took the pandemic very lightly and instead of following the protocols, went into complacency when the government lifted the lockdowns in May. The government decided in September to open schools, colleges and universities with predefined Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and health guidelines. However, the SOPs were not followed in their true spirit and as a result, the number of cases started increasing, exceeding 3000 reported cases per day since one week. The trend needs to be reversed, otherwise it will be too late. The situation can be averted by diligently following the safety measures, SOPs and health guidelines. For this purpose, Pakistan Alliance for Early Childhood (PAFEC), in collaboration with its institutional members, is planning to launch a country-wide campaign with technical and financial support from UNICEF.

Goal of the Campaign

The overall goal of the campaign is to create awareness about COVID-19 to stop the community spread of the virus.

Objectives of the Campaign

The objectives of the campaign are manifold:

  1. Reduce the spread of COVID-19, through preventive measures
  2. Build capacity of communities through sensitizing them using different strategies
  3. Create preparedness among communities to deal with virus in case of being infected and to mitigation the situation
  4. Provide necessary health and hygiene guidelines information and identify services available for this purpose

 Approach and Methodology

The campaign will be launched in two phases; in phase one, following cities, considered as hotspots will be focused: Lahore, Gujranwala, Faisalabad, and Multan. In phase two if UNICEF approves, a country-wide long-term campaign, inclusive of sustainable measures will be launched. In the first phase of the campaign PAFEC will engage around 4 institutional members who will work with networks of schools, colleges, universities, mosques, civil society organisations, volunteers, and semi-government institutions for the campaign.

The proposed strategies and activities of this campaign include the following:

  • Training of influencers (religious leaders, youth workers, volunteers, opinion makers, and community leaders), head teachers, principals, teachers, and students: PAFEC and UNICEF will train 15 staff members of the implementing partners as master trainers on the use of COVID-19 campaign materials and campaign tools and techniques. The master trainers will conduct sessions for the above-mentioned stakeholders in open air and halls strictly adhering to SOPs. Each partner will be expected to conduct 72 sessions (6 -8sessions per week for 2-3 hours) for three months. Each session will have around 30- 35 participants with one master trainer. Separate sessions for religious leaders and other participants (10youth workers/volunteers, 20head teachers/principals, and 5community representatives) will be arranged.
  • Miking: 10 chingchies in each city will be used to disseminate the campaign messages on every alternate day for a month. Audio-speaker will be installed in the chingchies and recorded messages about COVID-19 awareness will be played for 5-6hours a day. Chingchies will be decorated with banners/posters with COVID-19 prevention messages on them and will be expected to keep the messages on for atleast six months. PAFEC will seek permission from local administration for this purpose.
  • Disseminating digital content about COVID-19 and key messages through social media of PAFEC and its partners and through other networks in the country through boosting the content.
  • Weekly webinars by PAFEC and its implementing partners for PAFEC members and other audiences
  • Incorporating content and key message on COVID-19 in selected university courses and training modules and other materials of PAFEC partners to better understand and respond to similar pandemics in future.
  • Encouraging partners to create WhatsApp groups to share authentic messages (approved by the World Health Organisation and UNICEF) information about COVID-19 with the trainees (influencers) on daily basis. Focal person from each will partner will send a message daily to the WhatsAp groups.
  • PAFEC on recurrent basis will continue to engage its network organisations and partner universities, colleges and schools across Pakistan to organise local and community level advocacy and awareness sessions.
  • UNICEF to provide materials (COVID-19 content, key messages, brochures, masks and sanitizer).

Outputs

Details of direct and indirect beneficiaries

Activity Direct Beneficiaries Indirect Beneficiaries Means of verification Remarks
Implementing Partners 04   List of partners  
Master Trainers 60   Attendance  
Influencers

Religious leaders

 

 

4320

 

One religious leader will access 700attendees of Friday prayer congregation so 700X5family member x 4cities= 14,000 Attendance and using social data It is expected that there will be 100 such parallel congregations being organised every Friday. We assume that there will be less than one percent change in the attendees therefore, we are counting numbers only once.
Youth Workers/volunteers 2880 One youth worker will reach out to at least 100 individuals in their own respective community. 2880x100x4=115200 Attendances sheet and through social data  
Head teachers Principals 2160 One head teacher/principal will be expected to train 20tecahers 100studnets Attendance sheet  
Dissemination of COVID messages through various means mentioned below     It is expected that we will reach to at least 1million population per city

 

Monitoring and reporting

A robust and rapid M&E system will be employed to get feedback and data on Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and perceptions, which will be used to improve the intervention activities and reporting. Regular reports and updates will be provided to UNICEF. The following will be data collection and verification means for the campaign:

  1. Weekly monitoring of individuals as direct and indirect beneficiaries using data available from the implementing partners against KPIs(registration forms/attendance sheet of the trainees and their feedback, total number of sessions etc)
  2. Weekly COVID-19 awareness quiz using PAFEC network, and WhatsApp groups established for , youth, parents, teachers and community members
  3. Telephone perception survey of 1% of the beneficiary reached through various activities (participation is voluntary)
  4. User generated content on COVID-19
  5. Pictures and videos(key highlights) of the training sessions will be used for monitoring and reporting

 

 

[1] Covid-19: Economy may face GDP loss of up to 4.64 percent: https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/637732-covid-19-economy-m ay-face-gdp-loss-of-up-to-4-64-percent

 

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