A Garissa NGO has started training community health volunteers on the Covid-19 pandemic.
Kesho Alliance project coordinator Osman Mohamed said they were driven by the poor vaccine uptake in the region.
The CHVs will create awareness among residents of Garissa town and its environs.
Ministry of Health data shows Garissa county is among six counties with the lowest number of vaccinations.
Only 13 per cent of the target population have been vaccinated since the exercise started in March 2020.
Mohamed said they decided to use the CHVs since they come from the community and can easily pass the message.
He spoke on the sidelines of a two-day workshop at a Garissa hotel on Tuesday.
The coordinator said they have partnered with Aspen Institute to reach marginalised communities and increase the number of vaccinations.
“Our main target is to boost vaccine uptake. Garissa is one of the counties that has been marginalised for the longest time and the health system has been impacted.
“We want to see if we can increase uptake in the next six months because Covid-19 is real and is still with us. We have lost hundreds of people including loves ones, friends and relatives through this monster,” he said.
A CHV Mohamed Noor said it is sad to see people disregarding the MoH guidelines, which include wearing of masks and social distancing.
He said the political season has only made things worse.
Noor who lost his mother to the virus last year said the loss was a rude awakening that the disease is real.
“I had to get out and be part of the team of CHVs who are passing the message about how deadly the disease is,” he said.
Noor however said despite the response being encouraging, there are a few people who still believe Covid-19 doesn’t exist. “We cannot afford to drop the guard.”
Another CHV Zeinab Mohamed challenged residents not to rest on their laurels and instead take the jab and volunteer at health facilities.
Garissa Health executive Roble Nunow said it is regrettable that despite vigorous awareness campaigns, the uptake is still low.
He said even though there have not been any cases in the last three weeks, residents need to continue adhering to the laid down protocols and go for the jab.
Hundreds of lives were lost in Garissa at the height of the pandemic.