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Covid training for Nakuru schools as infections surge

Reproductive Health - By Mercy Kahenda
Pupils at Nakuru Town East Primary School wash hands after undergoing Covid-19 basic prevention training, an initiative aimed at preventing spread of the virus. [Mercy Kahenda, Standard]

Peter Kiarie is scared while at school and hardly plays with his peers after re-opening of schools.

Kiarie, a Class Four pupil at Nakuru East Primary School, is not convinced that he is in a safe environment due to Covid-19 pandemic.

“I am at times hesitant to play while in school because I fear my friends might infect me with the virus,” said the pupil.

At school, he said, he has his body temperature checked and always wears a face mask.

“Teachers have been re-assuring us that we are safe in school. They encourage us to wash our hands with soap and water, and I am hoping we shall get back to normal,” Kiarie said.

A surge

There has been a surge in the number of infections in Nakuru in the past three weeks, with more than 1,684 confirmed cases and 40 deaths, with fears that the numbers might rise further.

To boost the war against the pandemic, health officials have rolled out sensitisation programmes targeting teachers, non-teaching staff and learners in all Nakuru County schools.

The initiative will be conducted in all 1,137 public and private primary, 520 secondary schools and higher learning institutions.

Health officials in collaboration with representative from the Ministry of Education rolled out the initiative at Nakuru East Primary School last week.

Doris Moraa, a Standard Four pupil at the school, told The Standard she is cautious after being trained on importance of adhering to set public health measures.

“We have been trained to wash our hands often, wear face masks and sanitise. I trust I will be safe if I observe all these,” said Moraa.

The school head teacher, Peter Munyao, said they had set up all necessary measures as per the ministry directives.

Munyao said all pupils and teachers have their temperatures checked before being cleared to go to their respective classrooms.

He said water points have also been placed in strategic locations for hand- washing.

“We are happy that after the training, learners understand what they are expected to do to prevent contracting the virus,” said the head teacher.

However, social distance, according to the teacher, was the main challenge as learners at times find themselves in a group.

“Teachers are regularly monitoring pupils because some forget about social distancing and tend to regroup during break and play times,” he said.

County Health Executive Kariuki Gichuki said the initiative will help schools understand and follow the World Health Organisation Covid-19 prevention recommendations.

“Health promotion and disease prevention programmes are essential with the partial reopening of schools in the wake of rising cases of infections,” he said during the launch of the initiative.

He noted that teachers and pupils are change agents in the society and will deliver the Covid-19 messages to their respective homes.

Nakuru is among the top five counties that are recording a spike in cases of infections as per Ministry of Health documentation.

Covid-19 pandemic

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