For over a year, healthcare workers have been responding to COVID-19 in communities around the world. We recently spoke to Makhfou Gueye, President of the Community Actors and Secretary General of the Network of Community Actors in the District of Keur Massar, Senegal. Makhfou received training on COVID-19 from Amref Health Africa in Canada with financial support from Global Affairs Canada.
How has the pandemic impacted your work? If you could get Canadians to understand one thing about your work during the pandemic, what would it be?
Because of its unknown nature, the COVID-19 pandemic significantly impacted our work because people were fleeing from us, pointing at us as a source of transmission.
As a community actor, my work is about informing, educating and communicating for a positive behaviour change because disease management costs more than prevention.
How has the pandemic impacted your personal life?
Like many of our fellow citizens, the pandemic has greatly impacted our personal lives through the lock down. Anxiety comes along with a loss of income because everything is up in the air.
Have you been vaccinated? If so, how did you feel when you found out that you were scheduled to get the vaccine? If not, how has the wait impacted your mental health? Have you been vaccinated?
Yes, I have been vaccinated. I have not felt anything exceptional, apart from relief that we will finally be able to resume our former activities.
What is one piece of advice that you would give to students during this time?
One piece of advice for students during this period is not to fall into the trap of fake news and fight against it.
It has been a long and hard year. What keeps you going? Are there any hopeful stories that you can share with us?
Despite the long and difficult year, the pleasure of serving one’s community motivates me.
April 6, 2021
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