Step For U Project recruiting community members to provide COVID-19 resources to lower Delaware
DELAWARE – The Step For U Project is looking for community health ambassadors.
A new campaign is helping reach out to younger minority audiences to teach them more about COVID-19 in lower Delaware. The Step For U Project is a partnership between the Division of Public Health, Delaware State University, and help from a community partner, Medical Society of Delaware.
The project will effectively promote vaccination for universal coverage which will address Covid-19 health disparities. Health officials say though progress has been made with Delawareans getting vaccinated, there is still more work to be done. Dr. Raymond Tutu, the Principal Lead for the Step For U project says about 55% of people who identify as Black or African American are fully vaccinated and only 22% have received the booster shot. However, with this new initiative, the community is able to get more resources regarding Covid-19.
“Alongside the local community to identify their concerns, needs, priorities surrounding the Covid-19 vaccine and then by extension being able to address those concerns, and encourage vaccination,” Dr. Tutu says.
Dr. Tutu says that it’s important that everyone is reached including those in predominately black communities. In order to do that the Step For U Project has health ambassadors. Health Ambassadors canvas the neighborhoods of lower Delaware so residents can ask any questions they may have.
“And be able to raise awareness through education, and some health materials to leave with them so they can make some informed decisions, as to whether they will take the vaccine or not,” Health Ambassador Dr. Eunice Gwanmesia says.
She says that building relationships with the community is the first part of raising awareness. And because black people have other co-morbidity factors, including hypertension, diabetes, obesity, and asthma, it is important that they invest in these communities.
The effort is focused on COVID-19 as officials recognize that the virus has taken a physical and mental toll on all communities, especially those Black and Brown. As part of the campaign, they are hosting special live events including Woosah Wednesday and Fun Fridays. On Friday the organizations hosting their Plant-based Cook-Along. It is their goal to build stronger communities through education, nutrition, and wellness.