ACROSS has launched an emergency media campaign in partnership with the Ministry of Health and funded by Tearfund to help engage local communities on Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) prevention and preparation. This project – like many ACROSS programs – uses solar-powered, digital audio players (DAPs) as a means of delivering on-demand messaging to audiences in remote locations.
We recently produced 400 players to serve 8,000 listeners in the
high-risk areas of Morobo and Yei counties of Central Equatoria. The people
will be organized into groups under ‘audio player leaders’, who are trained on
using the equipment.
The devices have been loaded with tailored community engagement
messages in local languages on EVD and hygiene practices, including hand
hygiene. The EVD program is being integrated with our nutrition activities in
the region, so we’ve also included nutrition education messaging as well.
This is the first time that EVD risk communication and community
engagement has used digital audio equipment to engage South Sudanese in health
For nearly 10 years, ACROSS has been using DAPs in different
locations in South Sudan to disseminate messages about peace building, water,
sanitation and hygiene practices, health care, education, and faith. In Yei,
Central Equatoria and Rumbek in Lakes, the DAP program has improved teaching
skills in primary schools through targeting untrained teachers. Other projects
include peace and reconciliation amongst cattle keepers, and training for
chaplains in South Sudan’s uniformed forces.
The Ministry of Health is working alongside humanitarian
organizations like ACROSS to inform the population about Ebola prevention and
preparedness since the onset of the outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the
Congo. Preparedness activities include vaccinating front-line health workers,
educating people about prevention and response measures, conducting screening
at multiple locations to help with early detection of cases, training personnel
in infection prevention and control.
The risk of transmission of EVD into
countries that share borders with DRC, including South Sudan, has been
classified as “very high” by the World Health Organization.