–Onitsha poised for community action against the COVID-19 Pandemic
Dr. JC Ezedinachi
Sixty-eight ndi Onicha have participated in a training exercise that has prepared them to deliver an Outreach and Sensitisation Programme for Early Prevention and Mitigation of Covid-19 within the Onitsha community. The training focused on increasing participants’ understanding of COVID 19 by providing them with the information and knowledge for the prevention and mitigation of the disease.
Apart from the Wellbeing Ambassadors who are volunteering their services , several ndi Diokpa and Ime Obi staff were trained for delivery of the Outreach and Sensitisation Programme. The exercise took place over two days, Wednesday June 17, and Thursday 18 June 2020 at Ime Obi under the auspices of the Onitsha Community Covid -19 Response Team (OCCRT).
The expert trainer was Dr. JC Ezedinachi, Public Health Consultant Physician, Anambra State Ministry of Health. Other resource persons were Ugodibeze Ebele Etukokwu, Barrister ABK Offiah, and Chukwuemeka Omata. Kpari Rita Okolonji, Lead of the Field Operations workgroup of the OCCRT was the facilitator for the training.
The training covered such topics as COVID 19, prevention, transmission, symptoms, protecting self and others from infection, taking responsibility for wearing face masks and how to wear masks correctly, hand washing hygiene, and social distancing. Others are what to do if someone thinks they have coronavirus infection including prompt and appropriate reporting to NCDC emergency telephone numbers and getting support from the OCCRT Response telephone lines. Participants were also tutored on who should get tested, what happens after testing or testing positive, the role of Wellbeing Ambassadors in safeguarding themselves as well as engaging in good community surveillance that will help contain community spread of Corona Virus. A workshop on the logistics of the Outreach and Sensitisation Programme including practical demonstrations of community outreach activities formed part of the training.
Sir Chike Ekweogwu, President General of the Onitsha Improvement Union closed the training by thanking participants and encouraging them to put into practice the training received. Also present at the closing was Hon Agha Mba, Caretaker Chairman of the Onitsha North Local Government whose office provided support for the training.
The Outreach and Sensitisation programme which will run over two months is scheduled to commence on Monday June 29, 2020