Under the scorching heat, a lady holding a megaphone with a loudspeaker beside her goes around Datu Abdullah Sangki (DAS), Maguindanao in a tricycle. The lady informs the residents of the importance of face masks, face shields, proper handwashing, and social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19. She also plays the rekorida, a mobile live public announcement platform, about COVID-19 safety protocols and shared unpaid care and domestic work around their community.
Hasna Tuwa, 43, is the only COVID-19 local monitor in Barangay Banaba, DAS. She is also one of the two barangay health workers that organizes programs such as Operation Timbang, deworming, measles vaccination, and other significant health programs.
Every day, she goes to different puroks, divisions within a barangay or village, and visits almost a hundred households to remind the residents of COVID-19 safety protocols. Part of Hasna’s job is to profile every household to to know if anyone in the family has a travel history and/or experiences COVID-19 symptoms.
“The virus is invisible. It is important to remind and monitor the residents so that we will know what has been happening. So far, there are no COVID-19 cases here in Barangay Banaba, DAS.”
Besides household visits, another unique way of informing the residents is through the rekorida, where Oxfam and RDISK staff recorded COVID-19 safety protocols and shared care and domestic work reminders using the Maguindanaoan language.
“The rekorida is originally for radio; however, since some residents of DAS have no radios, we considered bringing it to the community through a tricycle and a loudspeaker.”
Hasna and other health workers in the Barangay wish to maintain a healthy and safe community through their constant efforts. Despite her tiring work, Hasna still feels fulfilled because she is doing her best to prevent the spread of diseases such as the COVID-19 virus.
This story is written by Princess Taroza and is part of the Delivery of Cash for Work Opportunities and Messages on Covid-19 Awareness and Prevention to Women in Mindanao Project implemented by the Rural Development Institute of Sultan Kudarat (RDISK) and Oxfam with support from The People and Government of Japan and UN Women.