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Regional News of Monday, 25 May 2020

Source: GNA

Savana Signatures introduces coronavirus information in local languages

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Savana Signatures, a local NGO operating in the Northern Region, has begun delivering real time information on COVID-19 in various local languages.

The NGO is operating through its Sexual Health Education Plus (SHE+) Helpline to ensure inclusive efforts in reducing the spread of the disease.

The Savana Signatures’ SHE+ Helpline has been in operation for some time now and providing information and counselling on all issues related to sexual reproductive health and rights (SRHR), and has now added information on transmission, symptoms, and preventive measures on COVID-19.

Callers to the Helpline who are suspected to exhibit COVID-19 signs and symptoms or have issues on SRHR, are referred to appropriate authorities and health centres for further professional handling.

So far, The SHE+ centre has received more than 300 calls from the public seeking SRHR and COVID-19 related information.

Another strategy under the SHE+ is the SHE+ Champions, made up of trained health group of young people to engage in sensitisation exercises in the Northern Region, educate members of the public on SRHR as well as COVID-19 issues.

The SHE+ Champions also provide information on contraceptives, sexually transmitted infections, menstrual hygiene management, sexual and gender-based violence and other related health issues.

Mr Stephen Agbenyo, Executive Director of Savana Signatures, who briefed the GNA on these innovations in Tamale, said the need for inclusive participation in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic necessitated the organisation's bid to strengthen the SHE+ Helpline to include issues of COVID-19 in these challenging times.

Mr Agbenyo said the organisation had modified its Young Voices Forum initiative to a well-structured online knowledge sharing platform that enables young people to learn and share knowledge on topical SRHR issues that affected their development.

He urged members of the public to join the conversation, which would stream live on SavSign TV on Facebook and YouTube Channels to reach out to individuals at their convenient locations.

Recently, out of school young people benefited from the SHE+ Champions sensitisation exercise on how to utilise U-Report to access SRHR and COVID-19 information on the SHE+ and the UNICEF Agoo platforms using mobile phones, because it was essential to staying safe and reducing the spread of COVID-19.

Alhaji Imoro Rashid, Project Officer at Savana Signatures, said similar sensitisation exercise is being carried out by the SHE+ Champions at various communities in the Region to meet the health needs of young people.

He added that the SHE+ Champions would be visiting communities in the Region to introduce the SHE+ to them in the Dagbani Language as well as use the May 28, Menstrual Hygiene Management Day to educate young people on menstrual hygiene.

He encouraged young people to adhere to the safety protocols to remain safe and healthy in this era of COVID-19.