Stakeholders Task Nigerians To Follow NCDC Protocols, Warn Against Stigmatization Of COVID-19 Survivors


    By Taofeek LAWAL, Abuja

    A non-governmental organisation, Widows and Orphans Empowerment Organisation (WEWE) in conjunction with the Federation of Muslim Women’s Associations in Nigeria (FOMWAN) and the Society for Water and Sanitation (NEWSAN) and sponsored by USAID E-WASH (Effective Water Sanitation and Hygiene Services) has organised a webinar prevention campaign to stem further spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria.
    WEWE, FOMWAN and NEWSAN are in partnership with the USAID E-WASH program to carry out activities to stem the community spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in E-WASH partner states and Abuja.
    The USAID E-WASH CSO COVID-19 Prevention Campaign is aimed at providing improved access to accurate information on COVID-19 prevention and also to address the rise in the dissemination of fake news and stigmatization of COVID-19 survivors. According to the organizers, “the goal of the campaign would be achieved by strengthening federal government and E-WASH partner states COVID-19 prevention campaigns and strategies through strategic communication and advocacy; deepening the partnerships with national and local media to increase access to quality information, and leveraging digital technologies to stem the pandemic.”
     The seminar agreed that one of the important measures in stemming the spread of the COVID 19 pandemic is correct hand hygiene practices. WEWE Executive Director, Josephine Ogazi, who was represented by the Programme Director, Nneka Okereke, said part of her organization’s activities would be geared towards informing and motivating more frequent and regular hand hygiene practices by drawing on the support of the federal and state ministries on risk communication activities and addressing gaps in risk communication on WASH as it relates to the spread of COVID prevention in the Federal Capital Territory. NEWSAN Executive Director, Mathew Agboro,
    In his contribution, said COVID-19 is preventable if everyone joins hands together to observe simple rules laid down by the NCDC.
    On her part, National Amirah for FOMWAN, Halimat Jibril said FOMWAN recently embarked on a sensitization programme in Pyata Niger State, North Central Nigeria, to sensitize over 200 people on the precautions and hygiene measures to take in preventing COVID-19.
    She said FOMWAN will support government’s efforts on hygiene promotion, social distancing and adaptation of risk communication to suit risk fragile communities in Niger State. NEWSAN also added that it will continue to work in partnerships with national and local media to increase access to quality information and to leverage digital technologies to fight the pandemic in Delta State.
    While advising Nigerians to ensure that they adhere to proper hygiene guidelines to stem the spread of the virus, the three organisations (WEWE, FOMWAN and NEWSAN) encouraged the media to avoid fake news, false information and myths that are being circulated via social media to stem the spread of the pandemic.

    The organizers said the targets of the campaign are women, children and vulnerable people with disabilities and called on
    the media to lead the campaign against the dissemination of fake news to curb the stigmatization of COVID 19 survivors.
    It was also agreed that the inform the people
    on the latest information on COVID-19 prevention by following the updates of the NCDC, the Federal Ministry of Health and other relevant agencies.

    And as schools reopen across Nigeria, pupils, students and every child must be continually reminded that there must be hand washing regularly with soap and water under running water for up to 20 seconds, avoid contact with nose, eyes and mouth and most importantly, maintain social distancing and avoid crowded places.

    As the world marks the global hand washing campaign today October 15, with the theme “Hand Hygiene for All”,
    the theme reminds of the need for ensuring correct hand hygiene practices and the gains of ensuring this remains a part of our habit beyond the pandemic and correct hand washing with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds would help prevent diseases and the spread of COVID-19 pandemic worldwide.


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