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Civil Society Groups Engage Community Agents on Ending Communal Spread of COVID-19 in Abuja, Kano, Adamawa States  

Climate and Sustainable Development Network (CSDevNet) in partnership with Voluntary Oversea Service (VSO) Nigeria, SDGs Thursday the Nigeria Youth Engagement Network (NYEN) has engaged over 50 Community COVID-19 Champions/Volunteers (50% women) across communities in Abuja, Kano and Adamawa states.
The objective of the engagement is to end communal spread of COVID-19 in Nigeria, pioneered by the VSO COVID-19 Response Small grant project.
Heading the youth engagement innovation implementation team on the VSO COVID-19 response and action are Mr. Pius OKO (CSDevNet) and Mr. Abeng Lucky (SDGs Thursday).
Pius OKO stated that since the index case of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) was detected on the 27th of February 2020 in Nigeria, several measures have been instituted by the Federal Government – President  Muhammadu Buhari inaugurated Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) activated a national Emergency Operations Centres (EOC), together 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 the Government at Federal and at State level.
Pius OKO emphasized that despite all the entreaties from Government, development partners and CSOs on the public and individual responsibilities, there are problems on Perceptions, Attitudes and Public Behaviours that have to be tackled inorder to discontinue community transmission.
In April and May 2020, CSDevNet and SDGs Thursday through many efforts and intervention had directly supported over 1,500 households and indirectly reached over 3,000 households on COVID-19 response in education, sensitization, feed-a-family soft palliatives and donation of personal protective equipment and hand washing facilities across the nation.
Mr. Abeng Lucky affirmed that the VSO partnership with CSDevNet and SDGs Thursday is to upscale the ongoing interventions to directly reach 2,000 households in satellite towns and rural communities in a month through knowledge, attitude and practice (KAP) survey on COVID-19, Identification and Engagement of 50 community COVID-19 prevention champions on Advocacy (50% women), Training of 100 youths in production of basic PPE and distribution of over 2,000 face masks and Hand sanitizers made by trained youths, Street-to-Street public awareness and periodic sensitization on COVID-19 prevention and adherence to recommended health protocols and safety hygiene using indigenous language and online sensitization and advocacy using various media platforms.
Mr. Abeng Lucky therefore, stated that this intervention will reduce the impact of COVID-19 spread and prevention of communal transmission through capacity building training for youths in production of basic personal protective equipment, sensitization and advocacy programmes using Indigenous Languages and local action in satellite towns and rural communities to quickly reduce the spread of COVID-19 in Nigeria.
Pius OKO added that following the already existing gradual easing of the lock down (on the 27th of April, 2020 Nigeria), citizens are encouraged to take responsibility and ensure adherence with the following health protocol /preventive measures:
Mandatory use of face masks (advisory use of cloth or non-medical face mask) covering for all persons while in public spaces, Regular hand washing with soap/sanitizers under running water, Extensive temperature checks in all public spaces, Maintaining at least 2 metres (6 feet) physical distance between yourself and individuals and; Closure of activities that will cause any form of gathering including schools, places of worship, sporting, public spaces and social events, Non-physical greetings (avoiding hand shaking or hugs) and inter-state travel restrictions etc


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