As early as the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Essential Health Network for Rural Dwellers had recognized the need to join effort with various global initiatives to contain the life-threatening virus. Our proactive approach to serious issues like the pandemic saw us become the first CSO in Ebonyi state to take on a major action in the hope of containing the virus. Our response activities involved various awareness campaigns to spread life-saving messages including hand washing, wearing of masks, social distances and other WHO guidelines. We achieved this through various media channels utilizing renowned health experts and important stakeholders including traditional rulers from the 13 LGAs of Ebonyi state.
Our choice of involving traditional rulers in the campaign was on purpose. The aim was to ensure that these important messages did not just end up in the urban areas where access to information is relatively common but to ensure that even the most neglected, hard-to-reach rural people have access to the messages. This is in line with EHNRD core objective of ensuring health for everyone regardless of their economic disposition, gender or location. Our many years of working with rural communities informed us just how influential local gatekeepers such as traditional rulers are in driving change in their various communities especially when the aim is to reach a large group of audience. Their role throughout the campaign in coordinating local groups including women groups and youths ensured that the program objectives were attained not just as desired but at an incredible pace.