The Nigerian Red Cross Society (NRCS), Lagos Branch, has called on individuals, philanthropists, public and private organisations, to support it in achieving its COVID-19 intervention goals.
Its Chairman, Mrs Adebola Kolawole, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Sunday, while speaking on the society’s distribution of relief packages to about 250 households.
The initiative was targeted at widows, People Living with Disabilities (PLWDs) and the elderly, particularly those over 70 years.
According to Kolawole, the package which include rice, beans, garri and other household items will feed a family of six for one week.
She said the relief package was one of the society’s intervention on COVID-19, aimed at cushioning the effect of the lockdown.
Kolawole said: “Even at a time like this, our presence is very vital.
“Red Cross is known for a lot of things during a crisis period. In a pandemic situation like this, we must come out, not only during disasters.
“We are based in Makoko and thought it better to start from our community, charity begins at home.
“We have very poor people in the slums, who cannot afford one meal a day even before the lockdown.”
She said other interventions include collaboration with the Lagos State Government on house-to-house contact tracing of suspected COVID-19 victims, sensitisation programmes on coronavirus and ongoing social media awareness campaigns.
She noted that volunteers were not part of the health workers treating the patients but were available for other services.
Kolawole, however, decried the current situation of the Red Cross not being able to meet its goals because of lack of funds.
“Before now, we relied on training of organisations’ staff, sponsors and donors but at this time, we’re not getting anything.
“We’re short of finance, materials, even for the motherless babies’ homes.
“We don’t have Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) because we’ve exhausted the ones we had,” she said.
Kolawole said the branch had set up a COVID-19 Intervention Fund account to raise funds for its projects.
She further said the Intervention Committee, headed by the Society’s former President, Mr Emmanuel Ijewere, would raise funds electronically and via social media.
Kolawole urged individuals, philanthropists, public and private organisations to support the Red Cross by responding to the messages, when received or contacting them through their website and social media. (NAN)