COMMUNICATING ON HEALTH CRISIS PANDEMIC: INFORMATION THE STUDENT IN THE UNIVERSITY WANT ABOUT THE VIRUS AND VACCINE
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During a health crisis, the different sub-populations of the “general public”, as well as those that use communications and other methods to facilitate behavioural improvement, will have some questions and inquiries to contend with in health communications Natalie Henrich and Bev Holmes (2011).
Natalie and Bev argue that there will never be time, though, to determine these needs in the middle of a disaster. It is necessary, as part of pre-crisis preparation, to negotiate the information they want with members of the public, in order to determine in a situation of crisis how they want to provide the communications (whom they trust) and how the information is best given. This means that the public is involved in the process of creation of Natalie Henrich and Bev Holmes (2011).
The pandemic called COVID-19 has infected the whole world and threatens to transform the life we speak of yet COVID-19 cases in Europe, Brazil, India and the United States have proved to be comparatively poor as COVID-19 cases are proving in Africa. Experts feared that COVID-19 would seriously harm the whole African continent, with a population of 1,2 billion and weak health services.
It is increasing speculation that the wild and warmer climate of Africa’s young people could save most African States the worst of the pandemic (Ebba Henningsson, 2019)
On 14 February 2020, it was reported that the COVID-19 pandemic spread to Africa with the first confirmed case in Egypt declared. The virus spread across the continent in just three months, as Lesotho (Reuters 2020) was the last African sovereign state not to be infected by this virus reported on the 13 May, the first confirmed case in sub-Saharan Africa reported on the incident in Nigeria in late February (BBC News 2020) (Reuters, 2020).
By 26 May it seemed that most African countries had group transport, but there was minimal potential for research (Akinwotu, Emmanuel) (26 May 2020). It is believed that there is widespread under-reporting in many African countries with less developed healthcare systems Jason Burke; Abdalle Ahmed Mumin (2020).
Experts were concerned about the expansion of COVID-19 to Africa, since many of the healthcare services on the continent are insufficient, with issues such as shortage of facilities, lack of resources, lack of preparation for healthcare personnel, and inefficient delivery of data and lack of good communication facilities.
It was feared that the pandemic would be difficult to keep under control in Africa, which might create major economic difficulties if it spread widely. As of 18 April 2020, the availability of ventilators was poor in most of Africa: 41 countries had just 2,000 ventilators between them, and 10 countries had no ventilators at all. Even basic supplies like soap and water are subject to shortages in parts of the continent Maclean, Ruth; Marks, Simon (2020)
By the second week of June, Africa had reached 200,000 cases in Moore, Jina (15 May 2020). The number of recorded new cases is accelerating, with the continent taking 98 days to report the first 100,000 cases and 18 days to record the second 100,000 cases.
The rate of acceleration continued, with cases reaching both the 300,000 mark and the 400,000 mark on 6 July. Cases were more than half a million on 8 July 2020. Half of the 500 000 cases reported on the continent come from South Africa or Egypt. Ten countries account for 80% of recorded cases The Guardian (2020).
On the spread in Africa on 20 July 2020, the Global Health Organisation expressed concern that the increasing numbers of South Africans may be a precedent for more outbreaks across the continent. By 6 August the figure was more than one million and five countries accounted for more than 75% of the confirmations: South Africa, Egypt, Morocco, Ethiopia and Nigeria (News24. 2020). Due to the low test rates in many African nations, Burke, Jason, are considered to be considerably higher than the reported figures (2020).
However, in Africa, there is comparatively less mortality in the smaller age of its populations in contrast with Europe.. On 21 August the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) expressed “cautious optimism” as the number of new cases took a downturn while warning against complacency. In some countries, the number of cases began to rise. On 29 October, John Nkengasong, the head of Africa CDC, said: “The time to prepare for a second wave is truly now.” News.yahoo.com. (2020)
In Africa, the pandemic has had a significant economic impact which damages the increasing middle class on the continent and threatens to increase poverty and severe poverty rates McSweeney, Eoin (2020). Also there are lessons such as early travel prohibitions, well-coordinated touch trackers etc., which need preparation since they are vital for the pandemic Dahir and Abdi Latif containment (29 June 2020). Morocco and Ethiopia are witnessing rising numbers on the continent from 9 September.
On 12 November, the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Office (WHO) announced an increase in confirmed cases, particularly in North Africa since July (Tunisia, Morocco and Libya).
The curve in South Africa and Kenya has slumped, with Senegal and Equatorial Guinea gradually declining Etteh, Chinedu Casmir; Adoga, Moses P; Ogbaga, Chukwuma C (August 2020).New strains of the virus were found in December 2020 in South Africa and Nigeria, in addition to the strain reported in the United Kingdom in September Mwai, Peter (2020).
The first case in Cameroon Reuters was confirmed on 6 March (2020). According to WHO modeling figures, if containment steps such as touch tracing are not provided priority Cameroon is subjected to a reasonably high chance of COVID-19 spread. Many preventative measures, including travel bans and cancellations of flights, cancellations of activities, school closures and border closures were carried out in different countries of Africa. Other steps to deter and restrict the transmission of the virus included curfews, lockouts and the use of face masks.
The Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme has been leveraged for surveillance and case-finding Ihekweazu C, Agogo E (May 2020). Molecular testing has been scaled up across the continent utilizing existing disease surveillance programs such as those for HIV, drug-resistant tuberculosis and Lassa fever.
Pooled testing to expedite processing times has been pioneered in countries such as Ghana. Key leadership has been provided at the country and regional level by public health institutes such as the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, the five regional Centers for Disease Control, and the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has worked to support the response across the continent and distributed tests donated by the Jack Ma Foundation Rashid, Zaheena; Gadzo, Mersiha; Stepansky, Joseph (7 May 2020).
Despite previous pandemics and reports on pandemic preparedness, many countries struggle to prevent and manage public health emergencies. A key component of an effective pandemic response is communication between governments, health professionals, scientists, the media, and the public.
Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) is characterized as a disease of the novel Coronavirus, now known as SARS-CoV-2 (formerly known as nCoV) which was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China (CDC. 2019) by an outbreak of respiratory cases. In the initial case, Coronavirus 2019 (CoV-19) was confirmed to WHO on 31 December 2019. On 30 January 2020, the WHO announced a public health emergency for the COVID-19 outbreak (Gallegos A, 2020). The World Health Organisation (WHO) has announced COVID- 19 a global pandemic on 11 March 2020, the first of which is since 2009 (New York Time, 2020) declaring H1N1 pandemic flu.
Key actors have played an important role in inorder to combat the spread of covid 19 to other Continents; the World Health Organisation is a key actor in the world. In response to the pandemic, aid organisations have adopted various structures and arrangements. A task force has been set up in some organizations to focus on the pandemic, often with leaders that have already been involved in the strategy, coordination and action of organisations. In others, the task was given to a senior official Jenny Lei Ravelo (2020).
This study stems from the fact that it has been observed during the ongoing health crisis pandemic that university students who have been attending classes fail to observe the measures and precautions made by the state and its various partners on the preventive methods of the disease and prevent new inventions. University students fear that going to the hospital to take the covid 19 vaccines might make them be infected with the Virus. Some questions have been left unanswered, what accounts for this trend among universities students who keep failing to observe the preventive method.
Another major issue that has been observed at the global and international level has been the rejection of the new coronavirus vaccine recommended by the global key actors in the health domain. Some African countries have denied getting covid 19 vaccines, a case in point is Tanzania’s government that said that it had no interest in accessing Covid-19 vaccines, cementing its status as an outlier in the world’s fight against the pandemic, as most other African countries scrambled to secure shots (Nicholas Bariyo,2021).
This is supported by the fact that Tanzanian Health Minister Dorothy Gwajima said the country had no intention of importing Covid-19 vaccines, including free doses it could get from the global Covax initiative, which aims to supply shots to poor and middle-income countries. This is contrary to the case of Cameroon wherein some college students were reported to have denied taking the vaccine in Kumba (mimi mefo, 2021)
This academic work seeks to answer the following main and specific objectives
- The main research objective of this study is to document the type of information students need and want to access the severity of the Covid 19 pandemic
- What type of information do students want to know about the Vaccine in order to be receptive in other to use the Vaccine
- What are students preferred sources of information during the covid 19 pandemics?
- To identify the information needed to make an informed decision about the use of the vaccine
- To identify their preferred sources of information about the virus