by Clemans Miyanicwe
ARMED with a loudspeaker and a nametag, 20 youths stand outside OK Foods at Khorixas where they are sharing information regarding the coronavirus disease (Covid-19). The volunteers also go around the north-western town educating the locals.
The Khorixas District Hospital response team, which consists of matron Techla Kongoro, primary health care supervisor, Auguste Day and Khorixas clinic supervisor Alfeus Tjiveze, trained the 20 volunteers.
Kongoro told The Namibian that the volunteers were trained on preventative measures and signs and symptoms of coronavirus infection, among other things.
“The hospital’s response team trained them so that they can share information on Covid-19,” Kongoro said.
Julien /Uises, the local volunteer supervisor of the Namibian Red Cross Society (NRCS) at Khorixas, told The Namibian that the local branch of NRCS decided to initiate the training of volunteers together with KYF to assist local shops and the community by sharing Covid-19 information.
The 20 volunteers do not only share information outside OK Foods, but they also make sure shoppers wash their hands and observe social distancing when they queue for shopping.
“The NRCS, together with our stakeholders, realised that we cannot sit idle and watch our community amid Covid-19. Those who are out sharing information do so after training with the local hospital,” /Uises told The Namibian.
KYF deputy chairperson Patience !Hoaes said they do not only want to avoid the spread of Covid-19 at Khorixas, but also want the locals to be fully equipped with information regarding the virus.
!Hoaes said most locals were ignorant regarding Covid-1,9, but there are some changes since they stared educating the public.
“Locals did not understand social distancing since, traditionally, we are a community that believes in being close. So, it’s still a bit hard for them, but it’s changing slowly,” !Hoaes.
KYF has five volunteers while the local NRCS has 15 volunteers.
The manager of OK Food, Eddy Viljoen, commended the initiative by the volunteers since they share information with the locals.
“It’s a good initiative since they are extra hands and share valuable information,” Viljoen emphasised.
Viljoen said before the volunteers arrived at the local food retailer, it was chaotic. However, now things are under control. Viljoen told The Namibian, that OK Foods was considering assisting the volunteers with water since they spend the whole day at the shop.
The volunteers were introduced to the Khorixas police station commander, Teofilus Ipinge, who informed them about the do’s and don’ts when out in the public. Ipinge praised the volunteers for sharing information regarding Covid-19 with the locals.
The local police chief also took a group of male volunteers to fetch firewood to cook donated food at the local NRCS office. Businesspeople, as well as the Khorixas constituency councillor Elias /Aro Xoagub, donated food and cash to the volunteers.