Local leaders mobilised to fight against COVID-19 in Ethiopia

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In the wake of the COVID-19 induced state of emergency in Ethiopia, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) is mobilizing its network of local community leaders to help with awareness and prevention activities designed to stop the spread of the disease.
The so-called ‘community conversation facilitators’ – who have reached more than five million people across Ethiopia with other, non-COVID-19 related crisis awareness raising and prevention activities – and grassroots activists are working to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 for migrants, and other vulnerable communities.
With the support of IOM, local leaders in rural areas where many migrants or those likely to want to migrate reside, are disseminating information on the heightened dangers of contracting the infection. IOM Ethiopia is providing training on effectively communicating the dangers of COVID-19 and working to promote alternative livelihoods at home that might deter migrants from wanting to make journeys that might expose them to the disease.
“Our community programmes focus on raising awareness on natural and man-made problems and challenges,” said Girma Mulugeta, one of the members for the community conversation groups in the Southern Nations and Nationalities and Peoples Region (SNNPR).