A non-governmental organisation, Greenlight Initiative, has commenced a six-month training for over 360 ambulance and truck drivers, drawn from the six geopolitical zones, on safety measures against contracting Coronavirus pandemic.
Its Executive Director, Simon Obi, who stated this yesterday in Abuja, noted that most essential workers like drivers who transport medical supplies, patients, and logistics lacked necessary precautionary measures.
Obi said the training would be carried with the assistance of the Federal Road Safety Corp (FRSC) and the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Transportation, Vehicular Inspectorate Officers and the United States Embassy.
“Truck and ambulance drivers who are responsible for the transportation of medical supplies, and logistics needed for COVID-19 management in Nigeria are ill trained and equipped due to lack of resources to train, retrain and to provide them with person protective equipment.
“Between May and June of 2020, a video of some ambulance team who tried to convey an alleged COVID-19 patient went viral because of the way the team poorly handled the patient without consideration to their personal safety.
“The training will involve provision of safety training for 360 trucks and ambulances drivers who are responsible for the movement of hospitals supplies and COVID-19 logistics across Nigeria.
“Similarly, many of these drivers operate without the knowledge of road safety which has resulted to injuries, loss of lives, and damage to medical and logistics equipment needed for a functional health supply chain.
“So, the training modules are designed to empower these drivers and assistants with COVID-19 safety protocol; basic infection prevention and control; basic first aid, appropriate and rational use of personal protective equipment as well as educate them on road safety measures,” said.
Meanwhile, FRSC Assistant Corp Marshall, Amaka Nwaka said the Corp would provide necessary assistance to ensure that participants get the knowledge, to minimize the scourge of the virus.
Additionally, the Chairperson Board of Trust, Greenlight Initiative, Professor Sylvia Okonkwo, added that the exercise would help not just ambulance drivers, but truck driver escape from kidnappers and armed robbers.