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Understanding Coronavirus and Preparing in the Event of an Emergency
Everyone has a role to play to reduce the impact of COVID-19. It takes more than governments and action from the health sector to protect your health and safety. We all need to think ahead about the actions that we can take to stay healthy and prevent the spread of any illness, especially respiratory infections.
Since respiratory viruses, such as the one that causes COVID-19, are spread through contact, change how you greet one another. Instead of a handshake, a kiss or a hug, a friendly wave or elbow bump is less likely to expose you to these respiratory viruses. Encourage those you know are sick to stay home until they no longer have symptoms. Practise frequent hand hygiene as well as coughing and sneezing etiquette. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces, such as toys, phones and door handles.
These are the most important ways that you can protect yourself and your family from respiratory illness, including COVID-19 but how can you be better prepared during this time?
Make a Plan
Your plan should include how you can change your regular habits to reduce your exposure to crowded places. For example, you may:
- Do your grocery shopping at off-peak hours
- Commute by public transport outside of rush hour
- Exercise outdoors instead of in an indoor fitness class
- Avoid social gathering eg. weddings, churches,clubs
Your plan should also include what you will do if you become sick. If you have a DM you may want to start having conversations with them about how they can reduce the risk of infection when they leave your house.
You should also think about what you will do if a member of your family becomes sick and needs care. Talk to your employer about working from home if you are needed to care for a family member at home. If you, yourself, become ill, stay home until you are no longer showing symptoms.
Your plan should include shopping for essentials that you should have on hand at all times. This will ensure you do not need to leave your home while you are sick or busy caring for an ill family member.
Refill your Prescriptions
Refill your prescriptions now so that you do not have to keep running out. Consider seeing your health care provider to renew your prescriptions ahead of time. You may also want to stock up on over the counter medicine like pain relievers, antacids, allergy, cough and cold and vitamins and get it delivered to you through MyDawa.
Stock up on essentials and avoid panic buying
At this time, it makes sense to fill your cupboards with non-perishable food items, so that you do not need to go shopping regularly.
It is easier and convenient if people gradually build up their household stores instead of making large-scale purchases all at once. To do this, you can add a few extra items to your grocery cart every time you shop and incorporate meal planning in your household. Good options are easy-to-prepare foods like:
- Meats (Freeze them in batches)
- Dry foods eg. Unga ugali, rice
- Canned foods
- Legumes (freeze them in batches)
- Fluids like bottled water, fruit juice
It is also a good idea to have extra supplies of:
- Diapers, baby formula (if you have children who use them) -> (Buy Here)
- pet food (If you have pets)
- toilet paper
- feminine hygiene products -> (Buy Here)
The reason for stocking up on these items is ensure you do not need to leave your home at the peak of the outbreak or if you become ill. You can also opt to get your supplies delivered through Jumia, Chandarana, Zucchini, Tuskys and/or Naivas.
How to care for those who are ill
If you or a member of your family become ill with COVID-19, there are precautions that should be taken in the home. Your health care provider will advise you if hospital care is more appropriate.
To prepare for this potential situation, you should have on hand:
- alcohol-based hand sanitizer
- household cleaning products
- regular detergents for washing dishes and doing laundry (Buy Here)
- fever-reducing medications, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen
- this includes supplies for children if you are a parent
- garbage bags for containing soiled tissues and other waste
- household bleach to disinfect surfaces
Stay Informed with Accurate Information
There’s a lot of information flying around, and knowing what is going on will go a long way toward protecting your family. Make sure that you get high-quality information about COVID-19 from reliable sources. The Kenya Ministry of Health is a reliable source of information. If you are finding that the news media is making you feel anxious, take a break from it.
Communicate with family, friends or neighbours
Let your family, friends and/or neighbours know that you are making plans to prepare for COVID-19. Share your plans with them, as this could also motivate them to make their own. Talk to them about an accountability system in which you agree to check in on each other and run essential errands if any of you become sick.
If you suspect you have the symptoms associated with COVID-19 : Call 0800721316 for free
This article will be updated frequently with relevant information. We welcome any other information that would be useful for parents in Kenya.
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