COVID-19: Don Canvases For Use Of Traditional Media To Sensitise Indigenous Communities

A lecturer, Dr Ahmed Adesanya, has called for the use of traditional media to reach people in the indigenous communities, in the fight against the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Adesanya, the Acting Head, Department of African Languages, Lagos State University (LASU), Ojo, made the call at the 4th LASU Virtual Public Lecture themed: African Indigenous Knowledge System; Glocalising Solutions to COVID-19.

The lecture was organised by the Faculty of Art of the institution on Friday in Lagos.

 According to him, agencies responsible for public enlightenment on the pandemic should adopt indigenous languages to reach 70 per cent of Nigerians who live in local communities.

“By now, indigenous languages should be effectively deployed to reach communities and messages about the virus should be crafted in people’s languages and announced by town criers in villages. 

“Proverbs, music and extra mundane communications can also be used to reach the people,” he said.

Adesanya said that many of the indigenous communities were yet to be reached with the information provided by the government.

“This is in spite of the fact that people in such communities are at high risk of contracting the virus due to their traditional lifestyles, (large gatherings of various ceremonies and festivals),” he said.

 Also speaking, Dr Oseni Afisi, Acting Head of Department, Philosophy, of the university said that it was time to start giving serious consideration to indigenous solutions to COVID-19.

 Afisi said that it was imperative that indigenous efforts to curb the disease were not discountenanced while waiting for a west-discovered scientific medical cure to the disease.

“Every society has indigenous epistemology aboriginal to its growth of knowledge, while western science epitomises a high level of sophistication with its structured methods and practices.

“We should know that traditional medical practices exist and are profoundly popular among the people,” he said

Afisi added that although there was no cure yet for the pandemic, there were currently many hypotheses out there, about the virus.

“Instead of outright dismissal of these local remedies or solutions for the treatment of the virus, we need to learn and try from all sides,” he said.

Prof. Danoye Oguntola-Laguda, Professor of Religions, LASU, urged people to consume vegetables and fruits in order to boost their immune system, so as to reduce chances of contracting the virus.

Oguntola-Laguda noted that curing those infected with the virus and preventing the contraction were of primary concern to the African traditional religion.

“African traditional religion, like many other religions in the world today, has in-built spirituality and socio-cultural responses to the issues of health and well-being of its adherents.

“It is assumed that a healthy person is in a state of well-being which is necessary for productivity,” he said.

Over 160 participants connected to the virtual public lecture, which was moderated by Prof. Harrison Adeniyi, Dean, Faculty of Arts and the Vice-Chancellor,  Prof. Olanrewaju Fagbohun (SAN).

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