Notes to broadcasters
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This series of spots was written by broadcasters at the Amhara Media Corporation, Oromia Broadcasting Network, and South Mass Media Agency in Ethiopia.
The spots have been edited for clarity and length. Take some time to review these spots and adapt them to your community’s context by:
- Changing the names of the characters to local names.
- Using familiar terms that are easily understood by your listeners (for example, your listeners may refer to COVID-19 by another name such as “COVID” or “corona”).
- Ensuring that the information you share is consistent with advice from your local health authorities.
Remember: Information and messaging on COVID-19 information should not be limited to your station’s health program! You can easily and effectively promote COVID-19 vaccines by airing this series of 17 spots on many of your programs—including your news, music, business, sports, and religious programs—to reach as many listeners as possible.
Work with your colleagues to edit these spots so they match the different types of programs on your station. For example, some spots take place in a market, but could easily happen at a sports match or musical concert, in the office, in a farmer’s field, or at a place of worship.
To reach as many people as possible, translate these spots into the languages spoken by your listeners.
These spots are also available in Amharic and Oromo. To access these translations, go to:
Be cautious with physical contact
How are you doing, Abebech? Wow! You are really putting hard work into the irrigation!
How are you, Fatae? Yes, I sure am. I haven’t seen you in a while. Come over and give me a kiss.
Did you forget? They say that kisses, handshakes, and physical contact make us vulnerable to COVID-19.
This is frustrating, my sister. How are people supposed to live without greeting family and friends the proper way? And when will this problem be over?
I don’t know. But we ought to be careful to protect ourselves and our families.
Be cautious. Kissing, handshakes and careless physical contacts can result in COVID-19 spreading.
Praise be unto God, I am fine.
Is something wrong? You are standing far from me. Won’t you come closer?
Ah, things have changed since COVID emerged.
Wait—isn’t COVID a thing of the past?
You’d be surprised of how many people keep getting sick from the disease. We need to exchange our greetings and heartfelt love, but keeping a cautious distance.
Protect yourself and your family from COVID-19 by keeping a physical distance of two steps between persons.
Where are you going, Dessie?
Hi, Chala. I am going to take part in the kebele’s field celebration of tomato production.
I am headed there too. Let’s go. But we need to take proper caution as we will be joining a crowded area.
I’m not worried. Things are a lot better now. I think it has disappeared.
Oh no, my friend, COVID-19 still exists. In fact, more people are catching it these days.
Chala is right. We need to keep using precautions.
Continue to wear a mask that covers your nose AND mouth. Keep a safe distance. Clean your hands frequently. Ensure good air circulation by opening windows. Cough and sneeze into your elbow. And most importantly, get vaccinated!
Let’s continue to be strong for each other and protect our communities.
Touching our eyes, mouth, and nose with unwashed hands can make us vulnerable to COVID-19.
So let’s wash our hands frequently with soap and water.
If we don’t have access to soap and water, let’s use disinfectants to clean our hands.
Keeping our hands clean is an important way to stay safe from COVID-19.
STREET SOUNDS OF PEOPLE CHATTERING AND CARS DRIVING BY.
Hi Asrat, where are you heading?
Oh, hi Belete, how is it going? I am off for prayers.
So why are you wearing a mask?
Why do you ask? Is there a problem?
No problem at all. I just don’t want people to judge you when they see you wearing a mask. Most people don’t wear masks anymore.
Why would they judge me for wearing a mask?
I am just saying that the God you have faith in can protect you from this simple disease and even bigger ones.
But then again, the Creator does not say “Do not be cautious if you believe in me.” Why would I want to tempt the Creator taking proper care? I have a duty to protect myself from any harm using the knowledge and wisdom He has given me. That is when the Creator will also help me. So, I follow the instructions of the health professionals to protect myself and those around me.
Practicing COVID-19 prevention measures is not in conflict with the teachings of the faith.
What to do when you have COVID symptoms
How are you, Ato Belew? Are you feeling ok?
I can’t even begin to describe it, my brother. I can’t handle this terrible fever, and I have been coughing for days. I also have a headache and joint pains.
I hope it is not that COVID-19 …
Headaches, tiredness, fever, coughing, and joint pain can all be symptoms of COVID-19. To avoid spreading the disease to others, wear a mask in public and indoor places and if you have symptoms, quarantine at home and rest well. If your symptoms continue or get worse, visit a health institution to get tested for COVID-19.
What is the matter, my wife? Your coughing has been going on and on.
[Coughing] I am not sure what’s happened to me … It’s getting worse!
I don’t like this. We need to get tested, this could be a symptom of COVID-19.
Later that day, both husband and wife test positive for COVID-19.
I told you, my dear, I just knew it. I wish you hadn’t put off getting vaccinated when I had my shot. If you had been vaccinated, your symptoms would have been a lot milder, like mine, and you wouldn’t have this severe cough.
[Coughing] I just never gave it a second thought after I saw our friend Abuye Agonafer who tested positive for COVID—he healed so quickly and his coughing subsided quickly. I have been so foolish. I just hope I get better soon so I can go to the health centre and get vaccinated.
Vaccination against COVID-19 will prevent serious illness and hospitalization from the disease.
How have you been, Aya Gebre?
I haven’t seen you around these days.
I have been staying at my child’s place these days.
By the way, have you forgotten that we need to get the second dose of vaccine shots for COVID-19? The health centre was expecting us last Thursday.
Oh my! It completely slipped my mind that we need to get the second round of shots in order to be fully vaccinated.
No worries. We will go one of these days and get the shots.
Don’t say one of these days, Aya Maru—why don’t we go get the shots tomorrow morning?
In that case, I will tell my wife and child and bring them along.
We can go get vaccinated right after work.
Let’s respect our appointments for the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Emaway, I am wondering if they are still instructing people to frequently wash their hands and avoid crowds to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Have you they found a solution for it yet?
Are you referring to COVID-19, Shitaye? They’ve found a vaccine that prevents it now.
What do you mean vaccine?! We have plenty of natural remedies such as garden cress, ginger, and garlic that can help get rid of the disease.
Are you suggesting we don’t get vaccinated, Shitaye?
Good morning, Ema Shitaye! What are you two talking about?
Oh, hello doctor, we are just talking about that disease you call COVID-19.
It’s great you’re talking about that. There is no harm in consuming natural remedies, but the best option is to get vaccinated. I’m asking everyone to go and get vaccinated right away.
Good, I will discuss this with my husband and we will both get vaccinated.
It is ok to apply traditional medicines as long as they are not harmful. But the only way to prevent COVID-19 is to get vaccinated.
Instead of following unproved theories, let’s protect our families and ourselves and prevent the spread of COVID-19 by strictly following and implementing instructions provided by health professionals.
Wear a mask even after being vaccinated
COUGHING. ENGINE STARTING.
Come on, man, put your mask on! How can you get into the taxi without wearing a mask? And you need to wear your mask not just in taxis but other areas as well.
Oh, I am not worried because I have been fully vaccinated.
I happen to be a health professional. It is a good thing we met today.
Being fully vaccinated does not make you fully immune to COVID-19. Nor does it mean you cannot transmit the disease to others. So, you need to wear your mask just like everyone else wherever you go. Make sure you always wear a mask when in public.
Even if you are fully vaccinated, you can still catch COVID-19 and transmit the disease to others. Let’s follow the precautions set by health professionals.
Incorrect ways of using mask
How have you been, Eteye Askale? You’re late for market day!
How are you, Ayelu? What can I say—I had a hectic morning. Say, Ayelu, there are reminders saying we need to wear masks when traveling to the marketplace and even when shopping at the market. COVID-19 is still around.
This is frustrating. When will we be free of worries about COVID-19? I feel that some people are not really taking to heart the instructions being given. I see some people carelessly dangling their mask from their ears and others wearing it under their chin. Just look at how many people are wearing it incorrectly even in this market.
You’re right. But we should not be discouraged from wearing a mask correctly, even if others are doing it incorrectly. According to advice of health professionals, we should wear our masks or cover our mouth and nose with scarfs whenever we are travelling and in public places.
You are absolutely right!
Let’s protect our families and ourselves from the COVID-19 epidemic by correctly wearing a mask.
Avoid unnecessary physical contact
Sound of people greeting each other, kissing one another’s cheeks.
Dear God! What are you people doing?! What in God’s name are you thinking to be greeting each other this way in this time of COVID-19? Have you forgotten that COVID-19 can be transmitted through respiratory droplets and physical contact?
Kebede, why are you bringing up all these disturbing omens? COVID-19 has been eradicated, it no longer exists here.
And even if there is COVID-19, God protects us from contracting it, so don’t concern yourself about us.
You are confident enough to say it doesn’t exist because you haven’t caught it yet. What do you think our village elder, the Sheik’s wife, and even that boy across the river died of? If you are not worried for yourselves, at least be cautious for the sake of your loved ones. Aren’t you listening to announcements saying COVID-19 still exists? Come on, people, it’s wise to be cautious.
Our careless acts that don’t take COVID-19 into account can have devastating consequences. Let’s not put the health of the person we lovingly greet at risk. Let’s prevent COVID-19 together.
A disease that makes us lose our elders
Oh no! Our village elder has passed away! Crazy times!
Oh dear … What happened to him? Wasn’t he one of the elders that went to ask for the hand of my brother’s bride? He looked fine when I saw him then.
Yes, this is very unexpected. They told us he passed away from COVID-19. Oh, how heartbreaking.
Oh God! What sort of disease takes away our elders and wise ones? How devastating. God be with us!
Even young people are at risk of catching COVID-19 if we are not cautious. We must take precautions to prevent the disease.
COVID-19 does not discriminate based on age, gender, or status. It is a killer that can take away the lives of our elders, sisters, and brothers.
People without symptoms can spread COVID-19
Hey, is it true what they are saying about Tefera contracting COVID-19?
Yes, and it is not just him—his brother caught it too.
What?! What are you saying? I spent the whole day with him yesterday. Why didn’t he tell me?
Oh no, that is terrible. I think he is in denial because he hasn’t shown any symptoms. He is telling people he didn’t catch it. To make matters worse, he has been going around shaking people’s hands.
But I heard that even people who don’t show symptoms can transmit the disease.
Yes, it’s true. Anyways, it looks like we both need to be tested since you were in close contact with him. Let’s go to the health centre now.
If you come in contact with a person who has been exposed to COVID-19, you should be tested and take necessary preventive measures.
For further information, call [INSERT NAME AND NUMBER OF THE LOCAL COVID-19 HOTLINE IN YOUR AREA.]
COVID-19 breaks up households
ABEBE: Oh, this latest news is terrible. Haile has passed away. Wasn’t it just a year and a half ago that he lost his wife to COVID-19? Now his children are orphans.
Abebe, do you know if they have any other relatives?
That is what I am concerned about too. The household is broken and the children will face difficult times.
Protect yourself from COVID-19 to keep your family together and safe. Wear a mask, wash your hands frequently, keep a safe distance from others, and most important, get vaccinated.
Your cough sounds bad, Mebratu. This seems like something you should visit the hospital for.
Ahh, I don’t think it is cause for worry. I’ve been having joint pain and feeling tired because of the chilly weather.
Haven’t the doctors been telling us that the COVID-19 has similar symptoms? I advise you to pay the hospital a visit.
You really believe it might be COVID-19? You have no idea how much joint pain and fever I feel. And I can’t even begin to describe my headache. On top of that, I feel so tired, as if I have been farming in the fields a whole year.
Fever, coughing, sneezing, headache, tiredness, and joint pain are symptoms of COVID-19. If you have these symptoms, visit the nearest health centre to get tested. Protect yourself and your loved ones from severe illness.
Washing our hands is an important tradition
Centuries ago, our forefathers started an incredible tradition, which then flourished. When they returned from a day of farming, they rinsed their hands with water and scrubbed them with pokeweed and soap before sitting down for a meal.
They did not offer an unclean hand to greet their loved ones. They were incredible people who chose to greet by raising their hands in respect.
Especially in the time of COVID-19, washing hands and raising our hands to respectfully greet others can save lives.
COVID-19 is a contagious disease that can be spread through contact. We can help stop it from spreading by keeping our hands clean!
Contributed by: Broadcasters at Amhara Media Corporation, Oromia Broadcasting Network, and South Mass Media Agency.
This resource is funded by funded by the Participatory Small-scale Irrigation Development Programme II of the International Fund for Agricultural Development as part of the Interactive Radio for Providing Response and Building Resilience of Farming Communities on COVID-19 (IPRFC) project.