With the festive season fast approaching, French Red Cross volunteers were out meeting the inhabitants of Reunion Island to raise awareness about COVID-19, protective measures, and risks posed by the social gatherings that are customary at this time of year.

Ever since the COVID-19 crisis began, protective measures and physical distancing have been recognised as the main means for preventing and reducing the risks of infection and contagion.

In response to requests from several associations and local authorities, the French Red Cross – through the Paré pas Paré project – has been conducting public awareness campaigns on COVID-19 and the corresponding protective measures.

After visiting nursery and primary schools before the holidays, the project team recently went to shopping centres to meet the local population and talk about measures that help limit spread of the virus. 

French Red Cross volunteers were at Duparc shopping centre in Sainte-Marie on Monday 21 December 2020, and Cap Sacré Cœur shopping centre in Le Port on Tuesday 22 December 2020. In total 950 people received  cloth face masks as well as information leaflets about the disease and how best to protect themselves.

In order to ensure outreach messages were relevant and adapted to the public concerned, Paré pas Paré project teams worked closely with Reunion’s Regional Public Health Authority (ARS) as well as the Regional Health Education and Promotion Authority (IREPS) to develop suitable awareness-raising resources.