As the fight to prevent the rampaging Coronavirus from infecting Rivers people continues, part of the measures adopted by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in reaching out to communities has so far not experienced any notable challenges.
The Lead Coordinator for the State Rapid Response Team for COVID-19, Mr Modekai Ifemide Olowole, who made this known after a recent routine assessment of performance of the Rapid Response Team on sensitization in Obio/Akpor and Port Harcourt LGAs stated that the compliance level has been encouraging.
Olowole, who credited the success recoded so far to the existing mechanism in place, explained that the sensitisation team of the Rapid Response Team (RRT) works with Institutions on ground , adding that: ‘We have come together to offer our support.
“What we did was to sensitise the Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to know how they can engage the communities in whatever they are doing.
“If while doing that they need some support from us, we have a Rapid Response Team (RRT) that are working on ground. They have mobility, they have everything,” he said.
According to him, each time any of the Civil Society Organisations has palliatives for instance, to give to members of any community, they use the opportunity to make presentations on COVID-19 preventive measures.
The RRT, sponsored by UNICEF in collaboration with the Rivers State Ministry of Health, and the Rivers State Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (RUWASSA), he said, decided to adopt the method, knowing that many people in the communities are more bothered by how to overcome hunger than COVID-19.
“If you look at it economically, everybody is hungry. If you go to a community and tell them you want to sensitise them on how to wish hands, they will tell you they are hungry,” he said.
This, he explained further, is part of what Risk Communication entails, and is the platform through which UNICEF aims to support the state.
“UNICEF’s aim is to support the state wherever they are working to pilot a model that is of international best practices and present to the state. That is what we’re doing now,” he said.
NCDC Advisor Okays RCCE’s Performance On COVID-19 …Assures On More Support
As governments, organisations, and individuals across the globe adopt various means in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, a chieftain of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr Bio Belu Abaye, has lauded the performance of the Risk Communication and Community Engagement (RCCE) Pillar over its contributions in Rivers State.
Speaking in an exclusive interview shortly after a recent meeting with key members of the RCCE in Port Harcourt, Dr Abaye hinted that the contributions of the RCCE in Rivers State in the face of some peculiar challenges makes the achievements more commendable.
“We had heard a few things before we even met at the meeting. So, our impression is that the (RCCE) Team has been doing reasonably well in the midst of limitations and challenges”, he said.
Dr Abaye, who is the Technical Advisor of NCDC on COVID-19, noted that though life generally has its challenges in all spheres, the fact that the RCCE was able to overcome its peculiar ones in the State makes it stand out.
“There are obviously challenges, but in spite of all that we have seen, this people continued to work. They continue to churn out activities and results in spite of these constraints.
“We must say that this is one of those states where the availability of willing active hands is obvious, and very visible to anybody who cares to work. The hands are there, the willingness is there, and they are just ready to keep working with just as little or as much support as they can get. So, I think so far, they’re doing well”, he said.
While acknowledging that the achievements RCCE has recorded so far is the result of support from UNICEF and other donor agencies, such support, he said, will be improved upon to ensure uptimum performance.
“Those supports are still going to be improved upon as we continue to engage with them (RCCE), because there are many areas where the support was not particularly sharp enough. It was there, but it was not used uptimally”, he said.
Such areas, according to Dr Abaye, include “the issue of Knowledge Attitude and Practice (KAP), use of an Open Data Kit (OPK) software on android devices to collect data. We expected that by now that should have been completed, analysis done, and probably even published”, he said.
The meeting was aimed at coming up with plans to commence the next phase of activities for the RCCE.
By: Sogbeba Dokubo
Edo: NLTF Donates Hospital Equipment To Boost Rural Healthcare Delivery
The National Lottery Trust Fund (NLTF), has donated equipment to Usen General Hospital and Ogbese Maternity Centre near Okada in Ovia North East Local Government Area of Edo State.
Speaking at the event, Dr George Akume, Minister of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs, said the donation was to boost rural healthcare delivery in the state.
Represented by NLTF’s Executive Secretary and Chief Executive Officer, Dr Bello Maigari, Akume said the gesture was a demonstration of President Muhammadu Buhari’s vision on rural community health.
“The president is committed towards promoting the well-being of the common man, the government’s next-level agenda is to promote social inclusion among all Nigerians in a balanced, transparent and cost effective way.
“The essence of this intervention is to deliver world class, vital medical facilities to complement the efforts of the state government in making a difference in healthcare delivery,” he said.
The minister said that the NLTF would continue to pursue its intervention projects in a broad, distinctive, integrative and inclusive manner across the country.
“Our intention is to cover the entire 774 local government areas in the country and the Federal Capital Territory, I assure you that this will be achieved,” he said.
Also speaking, Mr Lucky Imasuen, member, NLTF’s Board of Trustees said the intervention would promote good health among residents of the communities.
Sickle Cell Awareness:Group Organises Blood Donation Drive
A group of young professionals in politics and governance yesterday organised a blood donation drive to draw attention to its importance in saving lives of those with anaemia.
The event organised in partnership with the National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS), was to raise awareness on sickle cell disease, Olu Onemola, one of the organisers told newsmen in Abuja.
Onemola, a former Special Assistant on New Media to the former President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, said that such initiatives are necessary to enlighten people that donating blood helps to save lives.
Our source reports that the group is made up of individuals of like minds who were either past or present Special Assistants to top politicians.
According to him, the outreach tagged “Blood Drive at the CANS,” seeks to educate participants on the importance of donating blood and raising awareness on sickle cell disease.
“A lot of Nigerians do not know that the simple act of donating blood can help to save the lives of people amongst us that have sickle cell disorder.
“With the coronavirus pandemic, we thought it will be necessary to enlighten more people on how blood donation helps to provide the necessary transfusions to sickle cell patients,” he said.
Ms Veronica Abang, one of the organisers and the Special Assistant on New Media to the Delta State Governor, who spoke after donating blood, adjudged the event as a success.
She expressed hope that more awareness would be created so that such initiatives would be replicated across Nigeria for there to be more blood available to those that require them.
“It is great to see people who have never donated blood and people who were actually scared of needles, roll up their sleeves and participate in such a worthy cause.
“Moving forward, we hope that such citizen-driven blood drives can be replicated across the nation,” Abang said.
“The turn-out was impressive, however, next time, we hope to make it bigger and better,” said Wale Bakare, Special Assistant on Electronic and Digital Media to the President of the Senate, Dr. Ahmad Lawan.
Bakare, also one of the organisers said that a lot of Nigerians were keen in engaging in such life-saving activities but lacked information as to how to participate.
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