Olanrewaju Lawal, Birnin Kebbi
The wife of the Kebbi State Governor, Dr Zainab Shinkafi Bagudu, has said that the engagement of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in the COVID-19 Risk Communication and Community Engagement (RCCE) is not a substitute for other ongoing response strategies.
Dr Bagudu stated this on Wednesday during the NGOs/CSOs interaction on engagement on the COVID-19 response held in Birnin Kebbi.
The Kebbi First Lady, represented by Hajiya Zara’u Wali, explained that the involvement of the NGOs and CSOs was to ensure better service delivery to the grassroots.
‘The approach of engaging CSOs and CBOs in COVID-19 Risk Communication and Community Engagement (RCCE) is not in any way an attempt to substitute other response strategies, especially State Task Force and other CSOs and CBOs who are at this moment not engaged in this project, but simply to increase community buy-in and subsequently add another layer of service delivery for efficiency in the overall response strategies.
‘The Chairman, Kebbi State Task Force on COVID-19 and Honourable Commissioner Ministry of Health, I humbly implore you to cooperate and make use of this structure to its maximum capacity,’ Wali said on behalf of Mrs Bagudu.
She described the Kebbi State Primary Health Care Development Agency as a great partner in the effort and stressed that the agency should ensure that the project leverage on any available structure and resources to succeed.
‘The COVID-19 pandemic is much around, [but] our positive attitude towards prevention and containment measures shall ensure that the pandemic is rolled back. Therefore, this response strategy is to sensitise and mobilise the communities to achieve this. We must counter denial, resisting evacuation for isolation, and a variety of misinformation about the disease for any meaningful impact to be achieved,’ she added.
In his remark, Mallam Muhammed Nadir Karofi, who presented a paper entitled ‘COVID-19 pandemic CSO/CB response: An overview,’ said the virus is spreading across Nigerian states and that it is high time all the CSOs and NGOs are mobilised for vigorous awareness operations at the grassroots.
He said that international partners are ready to provide technical and material support in addition to the Kebbi State Government’s efforts to achieve better results.