Community leaders to oversee COVID-safe adherence over holiday season

Fijian authorities are engaging community leaders including community health workers, turaga-ni-koro, mata-ni-tikina and church leaders to promote COVID-safe measures in their respective communities as the holiday season nears.

The Ministry of Health’s risk communications and community engagement team under the COVID-19 Incident Management Unit in collaboration with the Ministry of iTaukei Affairs and the Ministry of Rural and Maritime Development through the Commissioner’s Office is currently rolling out community engagement training with these leaders equipping them with the knowledge to carry out community-based surveillance, care pathways for COVID-19 cases and COVID-19 safe measures as the country opens its international and national borders and families reunite for the festive season across the country.

“Using COVID-19 surveillance guidelines developed by the Fiji CDC, the community engagement roll-out provides guidance for local community leaders to recognize and identify COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, signs, and symptoms and ensure the health and medical authorities are informed in a timely manner and able to respond appropriately cases that may develop in the community,” the ministry of health said in a statement.

“A key message we want participants to promote is that family and community gatherings may result in a laxity of COVID-19 measures and that it is their duty as community leaders to ensure that all members of the community understand the reasons behind the COVID-19 safe measures and that each and every person plays their part in keeping their families and communities safe.”

The ministry says it is important that COVID-19 preparedness is incorporated into the community action plans that address village development including disaster preparedness. 

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