Make children part of Covid-19 solution, Unicef calls

Dar es Salaam. The public must help children understand they are part of the solution to the challenges that have come due to Covid- 19, a viral disease that has led to loss of lives and disruption of the economy globally.

The challenges include quick spread of the coronavirus that is affecting people’s health to a point of death leading to emergency closure of learning institutions worldwide and lock downs and curfews in some instances.

Unicef Chief of Communications Eastern and Southern Africa, James Elder said this during an online webinar conference that brought together religious leaders to discuss the important role of faith leaders in Africa and India in response to Covid-19.

The conference is hosted by the global interfaith wash alliance in partnership with Unicef Tanzania.

He said at this time when children are at home, parents and guardians need to talk to their children to know whether they actually understand the pandemic. “It’s also imperative that parents stop talking about the disease and just play with their children to minimize stress,” he said..

Noting that in areas where there is scarcity of food and water, parents should encourage their children to eat first because they are more in need of building their immunity. He said, Africans need to celebrate Easter at home with family by listening to religious service online and the media.

On the same note, Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, Dr Federick Shoo, said while their stand is to continue with sermons in church they encourage the public to conduct prayers at home by listening to it through the media as well as via online channels.

“We try to make the people aware that it’s everyone’s moral responsibility to slow down or stop the spread of the virus,” he said .

For his part, Secretary General the Tanzania Episcopal Conference, Rev Dr Charles Kitima, said while the Catholic Church maintains going to church they strongly encourage social distancing.

“We can tell them to stay at home for religious service but the challenge is that they still need to go out in search of food and water,” he said.