Building capacity of people with special needs to join efforts against COVID-19

Building capacity of people with special needs to join efforts against COVID-19
The Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) is delighted this week to have supported the initiatives of People with Disabilities Solomon Islands to raise awareness of COVID-19 to their target groups, mainly people with special needs across the country.
15 volunteers and 4 staff of the People with Disability Solomon Islands that will eventually be out conducting awareness and assisting people with special needs to prepare and respond to COVID-19 participated in the training workshop.
The training involved raising awareness around COVID-19, its preventative measures and the Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 response approaches. The sessions also introduced participants to a variety of COVID-19 Information, Communication and Educational (IEC) materials, which they can use to raise awareness amongst the community of people with special needs.
“The training workshop was very useful for the participants to better understand how they can effectively use COVID-19 information to raise awareness amongst groups of people with special needs across the country”,
“On the other hand, the session provided us the opportunity to receive inputs to existing health related COVID-19 IECs which can be tailored to best suit the needs of people with special needs. Many of their constructive inputs have been noted and Health Promotion will work on ensuring that materials are inclusive of our people who have special needs”, explained Mr. Kelton Sikala, Principal Health Training Officer, Health Promotion Department, who facilitated the training.
Participants of the training acknowledge the support from MHMS stating that the sessions have provided them with useful information about COVID-19, which will greatly assist them when conducting awareness to people with special needs in their various institutions and across the provinces.
They were also pleased to be given opportunities to share their views and opinions on existing COVID-19 IEC materials, which they described as very important if people with special needs are to participate meaningfully towards national efforts against COVID-19.
MHMS Permanent Secretary Mrs. Pauline McNeil thanked the volunteers and staff of People with Disability Solomon Islands to proactively undertake such initiatives “ I am inspired of your commitment and dedication to join in national efforts to ensure that our country remains protected against COVID-19 and that any possible entry does not lead to spread or community transmission”, stated Mrs. McNeil.
She highlighted that the Ministry of Health stands ready to support various organizations and institutions in the country to establish or enhance their COVID-19 preparedness and response actions and plans should there be a need.