SMS Behavior Reinforcement Campaign
September 5, 2020
Nepal Scouts initiated 15 days Public Awareness Campaign (SMS), from 5th to 19th September 2020, to make aware of the Community to fight against COVID-19. The campaign was conducted in collaboration with Nepal Scouts, Ministry of Health and Population, and HISSAN with the support of UNICEF. 100 volunteers including Nepal Scouts and public health students were mobilized in the campaign on a daily basis.
Volunteers visited the most crowded places in the valley by making it 13 different clusters. The main objective of the campaign was to disseminate the information and message regarding preventive measures and transmission of COVID – 19, called the SMS campaign.
The main agenda of the SMS (Social distancing, Use of Mask, and Use of soap and water/sanitization) campaign was to reinforce 3 major steps to prevent oneself from the disease and to promote the mask-wearing behavior in a proper way among the individuals. Flex and banners were used to spread the knowledge regarding COVID – 19, its sign and symptom, preventive measures, proper stepwise method of using a mask, and many other informational points regarding the disease.
Activities conducted during 15 days campaign are:
- – Pamphlets containing information about symptoms of COVID-19 and proper use of masks were distributed in the respective community.
Mask and Sanitizer Distribution:
- – Mask and sanitizer were distributed for those who were unable to afford it.
- – Mask and sanitizer were also given to people who were ignoring to use it while roaming around the areas.
Miking and Jingles:
- – Information about SMS campaign and COVID-19 were circulated in the locality through miking done by the volunteers simultaneously.
- – Jingles containing COVID 19 information were also played through the speaker to aware people.
- – Awareness of proper use of mask and its disposal was given to the community people.
- – Awareness of 7 steps of hand-washing was also given in the locality.
- – Preventive measures, signs, and symptoms of COVID-19 were also clarified to the community.
The National Coordinator Lok Bahadur Bhandari said that being at the leadership level it is his responsibility to make this campaign a complete success. ‘First and foremost need of today is to save our neighbors, community, and the nation by keeping our self-safe while conveying the message’.
In upcoming days, these types of activities should be carried out across the nation to make every citizen aware of the preventive measures to fight against COVID – 19 and re-enforce the practice of “SMS”. Every volunteer should take the skills they learned during this campaign to their community and the local level. The campaign would be meaningful only if they can do so. Coordinator Bhandari stressed on the important role of public health students in this. Nepal Scouts is always ready to provide support and leadership to other similar campaigns, said Coordinator Bhandari.
According to Mr. Ram Prasad Bhattarai, Director of Nepal Scouts, who participated in the campaign, Nepal Scouts volunteers operated hand washing stations in different parts of the country to prevent the spread of COVID – 19 at the very beginning.
Nepal Scouts’ volunteers are in the front line in raising public awareness, collecting travel details, constructing quarantine and isolation chambers, sewing and distributing masks, managing dead bodies of COVID 19 infected. In addition, volunteers have been playing an active role in providing food and grains to the animals and birds starving due to the lockdown, and providing food and prepared food to the street people and workers.
The campaign was concluded by organizing a zoom meeting. At the closing ceremony, various speakers put forward their views. HISAN Chairman Ramesh Silwal said that Nepal Scouts has proved itself more capable than other scouts in the world in this difficult situation.
On behalf of the Ministry of Health and Population, medical specialist Dr. Khem Karki and Representative from UNICEF Elke Wisch appreciated a great job of the volunteers and the whole team who inspired each one in the community to adopt the preventive measures to fight against COVID -19. Representative Wisch also stressed on further collaboration to fight against epidemic and disaster management.
By the 15th day, more than 1.2 million people have benefited from the campaign.