Climate and Sustainable Development Network (CSDevNet)in partnership with Voluntary Oversea Service (VSO), Nigeria, has engaged more than 50 Community COVID-19 Champions/Volunteers on ending communal spread of Coronavirus.
Mr Pius Oko, Project Officer, CSDevNet, who disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria , in Abuja on Monday, said other partners on the project included SDGs Thursday, and the Nigeria Youth Engagement Network (NYEN).
Oko, who also heads the Youth Engagement Innovation Implementation Team on the VSO COVID-19 Response and Action, said the objective of the engagement was to end communal spread of COVID-19 in Nigeria.
He said the engagement, which was pioneered by the VSO COVID-19 Response Small Grant Project, was being carried out in Abuja, Kano and Adamawa, with women making up 50 per cent of the volunteers.
Also, Ethiopia’s confirmed COVID-19 cases pass 4,500-mark.
Oko said since the index case of COVID-19 was recorded on Feb. 27, in Nigeria, several measures had been instituted by the Federal Government, led by the inaugurated Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.
“Nigeria Centre for Disease Control activated a National Emergency Operations Centre, in conjunction with the Federal Ministry of Health to curtail the spread of the disease and protect the health of Nigerians.
“Such as restricting movement within and outside the country and announcement of lockdown in most states by governments at federal and at state levels.”
He, however, said in spite of all the entreaties from government, development partners and CSOs on public and individual responsibilities, there were still problems with perception, attitude and public behavioural pattern.
Oko noted that these problems needed to be tackled in order to discontinue community transmission.
According to him, In April and May 2020, CSDevNet and SDGs Thursday, through many efforts and intervention, had directly supported more than 1,500 households and indirectly reached more than 3,000 households on COVID-19 response.
“We have done this through education, sensitisation, feed-a-family soft palliatives, and donation of personal protective equipment and hand washing facilities across the nation.”
Oko however, said following the already existing gradual easing of the lockdown, citizens should be encouraged to take responsibility and ensure adherence to all the health protocols/preventive measures.
He added that non-physical greetings, avoiding hand shaking or hugs, and inter-state travel restrictions, among others, should be complied with.
Mr Abeng Lucky, Team Lead, SDGs Thursday, said that the VSO partnership with CSDevNet and SDGs Thursday, was to help upscale the ongoing interventions to directly reach 2,000 households in satellite towns and rural communities in a month .
Lucky, also Head, Youth Engagement Innovation Implementation Team, VSO COVID-19 Response and Action, said this would be achieved through Knowledge, Attitude and Practice (KAP), survey on COVID-19.
“We would also achieve this through identification and engagement of 50 community COVID-19 prevention champions on Advocacy, of which 50 per cent would be women.
“Training of 100 youths in production of basic PPE and distribution of over 2,000 face masks and hand sanitisers, made by trained youths and Street-to-Street public awareness group.
“Periodic sensitisation on COVID-19 prevention and adherence to recommended health protocols and safety hygiene, using indigenous language and online sensitisation and advocacy using various media platforms.”
Lucky said that the intervention would reduce the impact of COVID-19 spread and prevent communal transmission through capacity building training production of basic personal protective equipment for youths.
He added that sensitisation and advocacy programmes, using indigenous languages and local action in satellite towns and rural communities, would quickly help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in Nigeria.