Edwin Opwora, a UN Volunteer with UNAIDS in Kenya, is part of the COVID-19 UN team embedded with the Kenyan government. He is based at the office of the government spokesperson, and tasked with collecting and disseminating timely, accurate and reliable information on COVID-19.
"We started by developing a communication strategy to guide our approach and key messages for dissemination," says Mr Opwora. "But as we were developing the communications strategy, I noticed that vulnerable populations, including people living with HIV, were not included. With support from UNAIDS colleagues, we revised it to ensure that vulnerable and disadvantaged populations were also included in our communication strategy," added Mr Opwora.
Mr Opwora volunteered to join the digital communications group, developing digital content and monitoring social media for fake news, myths and misconceptions. He also responds to frequently asked questions from the general public. Mr Opwora noted that initially, there was a lot of confusion because the public didn’t have enough information about the Coronavirus. However, with consistent dissemination of the right information, more Kenyans have become increasingly aware of the basic guidelines given by the government.
Winnie Wachiuri is also a UN Volunteer with UNAIDS, serving as a programme officer. "I am seconded to the Emergency Operations Center at the Ministry of Health to support data management and contact tracing. I mainly support evidence-based approaches to manage the COVID19 outbreak, and hope my inputs will contribute to containing and managing this pandemic," said Ms Wachiuri.