Over twenty volunteers from three local government areas of Anambra State have been trained on risk communication on the coronavirus pandemic by the Nigerian Red Cross Society, (NRCS), Anambra State.
Among the Council Areas whose volunteers were trained were Awka South, Idemili South and Ogbaru.
The training is expected to cascade to the rest of the 21 Council areas of the state, with a view to raising awareness on COVID-19, to increase the people’s chances of survival.
Among some of the key messages of the risk communication training include the need for proper handwashing and general hygiene practise, proper use of face mask, use of hand sanitizer, social distancing, avoiding to touch eyes, ear and nose with unwashed hands and several others.
The NRCS Anambra Branch Secretary, Engr Kingsley Okoye said with a volunteer base of over 16,000, proves a viable component in the fight against the pandemic in the state.
According to him, the branch will leave no stone unturned in ensuring that the risk communication messages gets to the grassroots, beginning with the 3 pilots LGAs and then to other parts of the state through the strong grassroots structure of Red Cross in the State.
The State Red Cross Communication Coordinator, Mr Fidelis Ikeji said the initiative was necessitated by the observation that people are beginning to lower their vigilance and compliance with COVID-19 safety directives.
“Risk communication is a valuable tool to help debunk some of the myths and put our people in the right mindset towards achieving a good result in the fight against the Pandemic. What we intend to achieve overall, is an enlightened citizenry in Anambra that is conscious of what they need to do to survive this pandemic and is ready to do them. With the right information, our people can beat this virus,” Ikeji explained.
Some of the volunteers, Emelda Obiajunwa and Onyeka Freeman, who spoke of some of the challenges they encounter during the risk communication activities, promised that the knowledge garnered will be taken down to the community level.
“For the first week of the activity, there have been several feedbacks gathered from over ten communities visited so far. Some community dwellers do not believe that the disease is real while some who acknowledge the reality of the disease believe it is not a black man ailment. These and many more are among the myths hovering around the COVID-19 which we, as volunteer risk communicators have been redirecting in the communities. We have been armed with the right information and we are ready to go down to the grassroots and make the desired impact,” they said.