European Union Funds Musical Campaign Against COVID-19 In CAR

The Central African Republic (CAR) on Wednesday, April 22, registered its 15th and 16th cases of the coronavirus. The two (male and female) were a Central African Republic national, aged 28, and a Cameroonian, aged 42.

The two were tested at the Institut Pasteur which is a World Health Organisation (WHO) reference laboratory and they have already been interned in the centre set up and charged with the treatment of COVID-19 patients, according to a statement from the country’s Minister of Health and Population, Dr Pierre Somse.

The statement said the two patients arrived in the country by road from Cameroon on April 18 for the first case and April 19 for the second case.

“They are being taken care of and an operation has been launched to identify all persons with whom they have interacted since arriving the country,” the minister said.

Of the 16 coronavirus cases so far detected in the country, 10 have been successfully treated and discharged from hospital while the rest are still undergoing treatment.

Meanwhile, the European Union delegation in the country has financed the production of an informative and propaganda clip against the coronavirus by a group of young CAR musicians.

The young musicians under the umbrella of a local collective, known as “Collectif 236”, composed the song against the pandemic. The song is titled “c’est notre combat” (It is our fight in English) accompanied by a clip intended to sensitise particularly young Central Africans who constitute 70 per cent of the population on the dangers of the pandemic.

The supervision and artistic direction of the project financed by the European Union’s Projet D’appui à la Mise en œuvre et à la Coordination du Fonds Européen de Développement (PAMOCFED) (Project for Support to Setting up and Coordination of the European Development Fund) was undertaken by the Bangui office of Alliance Francaise directed by Olivier Colin.

“Collectif 236” is an initiative of the rap group, HK Hooka, which created the “Je suis CENTRAFRIk’1’ concept. It brings together 15 CAR professional artists with the goal of sensitising the majority of Central Africans to the dangers of COVID-19 through music.

The music is broadcast on eight national radio stations, including Radio Ndeke Luka, financed by the European Union.

The clip has also been played on the “Collectif 236” broadcast programme, “Mossekattitude”, and on Radio France Internationale’s popular music programme, “Couleurs tropicales”, animated by Claudy Siar.

It is also being shown on the AFB social network and the delegation of the European Union in Bangui as well as the EU’s official website https://eeas.europa.eu/headquarters/headquarters-homepage.fr.

COVID-19 awareness in the Central African Republic is very low as most citizens dismiss it as a whiteman’s problem and as such no need for mass sensitisation of its dangers.

With Dispatches from Bangui, Central African Republic.

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Chief Bisong Etahoben

Chief Bisong Etahoben is a Cameroonian investigative journalist and traditional ruler. He writes for international media and has participated in several transnational investigations. Etahoben won the first-ever Cameroon Investigative Journalist Award in 1992. He serves as a member of a number of international investigative journalism professional bodies including the Forum for African Investigative Reporters (FAIR). He is HumAngle's Francophone and Central Africa editor.

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