Make information available

Editorial

PAPUA New Guinea maybe technically free of Covid-19 after the eight people who tested positive have recovered but we should never be complacent.
The world is affected by this pandemic and PNG is no exception.
Covid-19 respects no national borders, no social bounds, no political systems and no cultural values.
The interim report of the Covid-19 by the permanent Parliamentary Committee on emergency identified 35 preliminary recommendations of which it listed the need for more awareness that needed to be addressed immediately.
Orders relating to the state of emergency were imposed to evaluate our preparedness should there an outbreak.
The challenge for the controller and the Government is ensuring the general public adhere to the orders. The one concerned area for many since day one of the SOE is the conduct of social events in the country.
There are still people not following simple rules such as social distancing imposed during the SOE for the sake of their health and safety.
One can see that people continue to leave their homes unnecessarily, and congregating in large groups despite being told to restrict ones movement.
Many countries in the world worked on putting a stop to the spread of the virus which was through breaking the cycle by human intervention.
PNG does not have the capacity to deal with this virus if there is an outbreak so to help our health system, the Government has taken a protective measure by advising its citizens to wash their hands frequently, maintain social distancing, avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth and practice respiratory hygiene.
Whether that message has reached a million citizen and if they understand is another thing.
Amongst the other recommendations included using formats and language relevant for ordinary Papua New Guineans; the identification of disposal facilities for Covid-19 infected materials including Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and gazettal of proper areas for incineration or burial of these material; and an investigation into faster testing procedures and production of test results.
This now calls for a different tactic to raising awareness.
Time for communication specialist to restrategise in getting the message to the mass population who probably still confused.
Use simple language and avoid technical terms.
Promote content around basic infection prevention practices, symptoms of Covid-19 and when to seek health care.
Let’s share facts and accurate information about the coronavirus.
The way we communicate can affect the attitude of others.
In an age where information is mass produced and accessible at the touch of a button, what the public really should have is relevant knowledge.
This information should be available to everyone for them to make sound and educated decisions.
It is important for everyone to get facts from trusted sources.
Other equally important recommendations included; proper training by specialists at provincial level of frontline personnel in Covid-19 affected provinces and others considered as hotspots; identification of a proper process for the repatriation of PNG citizens abroad with the acquisition of a facility to cater for the 14-day compulsory quarantine requirement; and the need for proper and accountable distribution of Government funding to the frontline agencies.
Not everyone will have a smart phone, radio or television set at home.
And with the literacy level low in the country, brochures and pamphlets with graphics should be used and printed in local languages including English and tok pisin.
Accurate information is important for Papua New Guineans to adjust to the new norm with Covid-19.

One thought on “Make information available

  • Lets Not Listen to world BUT to the Lord the Creator, God is in control, God is greater than the CORONA VIRUS,
    Time to repent & turn to God for his protection, God is our Fortress/Refuge. why are we doing things that are not in line with the WORD of God…..

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