The dreaded Covid lock down which has caused so much disruption has prompted a revolution in communication across Africa…. we found using Zoom we could train online and could connect with people across the world to enable CHCs to startup to help fight the pandemic whilst we sat at home on Zoom. It was an invigorating experience to share across such diverse settings.
Africa AHEAD launched the first webinar in October 2020, with an Introductory Module, consisting of five one-hour sessions spread over two weeks, focused on Theory of Hygiene Behaviour Change. This attracted 68 participants from 20 countries spread across the globe from India to Mexico and Canada, with lively sharing of many field-based experiences thanks to our Africa AHEAD Associates who shared contributed their knowledge of CHC. One particular moment stands out: in a remote village in south west Rwanda, while Mercy Mberira was describing her CHC programme, an overly exultant cockerel drowned her out crowing loudly – all 68 faces from across the earth burst out laughing at exactly the same moment in shared delight. Clearly such distance learning using state-of-art technologies can produce far reaching results at stunningly reduced cost and time.
All the participants when evaluated found the on-line training to be not only very informative and practical, and also a lot of fun. The rapid expansion and effectiveness of Zoom meetings has definitely been a positive product that has been given added significance during the ongoing Covid pandemic. It was wonderful to witness the active participation of AA Associates from around the world sharing their first-hand experience with participants from every corner of the globe. The strength of cross-fertilization of best practices from the field with on-going mentoring and monitoring in real time is clearly the way to go in disseminating urgently needed improved hygiene campaigns around the world today.