COVID 19 and the lack of coherence in our Intervention strategies

COVID 19 and the lack of coherence in our Intervention strategies

THE YEAR 2020 shall go down in the annals of history as a year of confusion and of the WHO failing the world.
It shall also be remembered as a year of total fragmentation in the approach and, perception, of a disease of which, the world was unprepared.
Totally caught us unaware.
A disease which became a peg for political supremacy; and of huge profits to pharmaceutical companies globally.
COVID 19 has illustrated how unprepared the global population, and its leaders are, in coping with disaster of such magnitude.
Moreover, COVID 19 became a political agenda.

Because of lack of Protocols in dealing with COVID 19 when it started decimating populations across the globe, we in Africa South of the Sahara were put in the unenviable position of developing our own home grown strategies to cope with the disease.
We tried all sorts of remedies, and included Prayers, which seemed to have worked.
The best Decision we made in the JMT was to protect children, and organized home schooling through radio and television.
Somehow, we brazened it out, and were able to contain the disease.
We got a great deal of flack for this, but we were focused on what worked for us.

Then the second wave of COVID 19 came and immediately came the third wave, and we have had to change our stance, and adopt new strategies for intervention against COVID 19.
We also had to consider:

  • Foreign travel for JMT peoples
  • Trade in foreign markets, and with foreign partners
  • Revenues from tourism
  • Diplomatic ties and the foreign Missions in domicile in the JMT
  • The plethora of movements of people across the globe
  • Our own safety viz COVID 19
    And,
  • We had become ostracized, a pariah, even among our cousins in Africa, because we were reluctant to adopt full lockdown, and the shaky and unreliable Protocols which had been adopted by most nations globally.
    Some on the global stage admired us, while most called us foolhardy and utterly lacking in good judgement.

Come the year 2021, COVID 19 hadn’t gone away, as we had hoped, instead, it had become chameleon in nature, with this, or that variant, and global fingers pointing at nations they dislike, or using the scapegoat syndrome, giving COVID 19 labels, and titles, and diversified emblems, the Black Mucus variant, this, they, whoever they are, gave it’s place of birth, oops, mutation, as the Delta Variant.
Then two other variants came up, and now, the OMICRON, baba lao, has been given the unseemly and most unfair title, the South African Variant.
We in Africa are voyeurs, not participants, in the labelling of the various types and faces of the dreaded disease of COVID 19.

In the JMT, we made the Decision to undertake vaccination as a way of warding off the chameleon.
I and my family and group of friends were among the first to get vaccinated.
After which, I was told in social networks that people who got the ‘jab’ would die within a year!
I cringed, and said “Buriani”.
I suppose being pioneers does come with risks.
We are lucky in the JMT in that, we were given access to the vaccine without force, and in a people friendly manner.
However, we haven’t invested at all in raising awareness on the importance of getting vaccinated.
Here, we should remember that our nation took a Leap of Faith and made the loooong jump from being anti vaxers, to becoming pro vaccine against COVID 19.
From seeing our Minister for Health with a food blender mixing the concoction of lemons and garlic and onions and ginger, and drinking the ‘brew’ as a prophylactic before an audience, and shown on outlets; to seeing our Minister for Health and her Other Half getting into a sauna tent, again in the presence of an audience and the media walla; to being told we are better off getting the vaccine; is a long jump, a very long and high jump.
No wonder the Tanzanian populace are reluctant to adopt the vaccine.
Why?
Because our mindsets have to be convinced to accept the U Turn, and, we haven’t invested in public education on the advantages of getting vaccinated against COVID 19.
We cannot expect people to adapt to an unknown terrain so easily.
We need to convince them, and that can only be made through public education programs.
Otherwise, when I do advocacy for the vaccine, people look at me the way they looked at Dr Moreau, who experimented with humans and animals, to create hybrids.
I come across as an enemy, the way people used to view ‘Mumiani’, harvesters of body organs for experiments in the 1940s in sisal plantations in Tanga.

So here we are, about to go into 2022 in sha Allah, and we still get inundated with frightening and frightful posts on the dangers of the vaccine against COVID 19, with social networks being conduits for such counter productive messages.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2022

Leila Sheikh
December 18, 2021

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Comment (1)

  • Theonestina Kaiza-Boshe Reply

    This is my first time to read anything on your blog, and this is the first article I have read. Well done! I find it to be a very good presentation of of where we have been with COVID-19, better than anything I have read on the subject so. It’s also well written. Congrats!

    I am enticed to, from now on, be a frequent visitor of your blog.

    May 23, 2022 at 7:21 pm

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