Dr Emmanuel Agogo from Resolve to Save Lives, a COVID-19 response Initiative has advised journalists to focus on four lenses when reporting the pandemic.
Agogo gave the advice in a webinar hosted by the African Centre for Diseases Control and public strategy firm, Gatefield, to help journalists improve their reporting around the COVID-19 pandemic on Thursday.
The findings of the report by the Partnership for Evidence- Based Response to Covid-19 (PERC) Consortium, was the focus of discussion at the webinar.
He said the areas are lives, livelihoods, liberties and the long term.
Agogo said, “These were the lives that were affected, the impact on people’s livelihoods, the liberties of people as well as the long-term effects that it would have.”
He said that though Africa’s COVID-19 numbers had been lower than the rest of the world, it was important to identify the common trends, issues and attitudes across the phases of the outbreak.
“Outbreaks and pandemics come in various phases. We need to keep vigilant.
“COVID-19 will hit rural areas and villages later than urban centres.
“Resolve to Save Lives is an initiative that has been funded to look at the COVID-19 response,” said Agogo.
In his remarks Mr James Ayodele, Principal Communicator at the Africa Centre for Disease Control (ACDC), said that the continent had adopted a continental operations strategy that hoped to conduct 10 million COVID-19 tests in Africa.
According to him, the continent also deploys one million community health workers, train 100 000 health care workers by the end of 2020 and set up a procurement platform on the CDC’s site to help supply member states with the necessary health equipment.
A statement by Gathefeild on Thursday noted that the report by PERC Consortium revealed that across the continent, less than half the people interviewed about the deadly COVID-19 pandemic believed they faced the risk of contracting the virus.
The consortium is made up of public health organisations such as the Africa Centre for Disease Control and Prevention; Resolve to Save Lives, an initiative of Vital Strategies and the World Health Organisation.
Others are the UK Public Health Rapid Support Team; and the World Economic Forum and private sector firms such as market research company, Ipsos.
It said that more than 60 per cent believed that COVID-19 could be prevented by drinking lemon or taking vitamin C and just over 40 per cent believed that Africans could not get COVID-19.
It gathered real-time information about the dynamics of the pandemic, governments’ responses to it, and people’s perceptions of both, to help governments implement the best public health and social measures to contain the virus.
The study found four in five respondents anticipated that COVID-19 would be a big problem in their states but their personal risk perception for contracting the virus was low.
In addition, about 73 per cent thought that a hot climate prevented the spread of the virus and 61 per cent believe that avoiding a person who has recovered from COVID-19 prevents them from getting it.(NAN)