From Jude Chinedu, Enugu
Following the outbreak of yellow fever in the state, the Nigerian Red Cross Society has trained over 140 volunteers of the organization in Enugu on yellow fever risk communication.
The training which was supported by the International Federation of the Red Cross was aimed at increasing the knowledge of yellow fever transmission, prevention and control, and support communities to adopt safe behaviours through risk communication and community engagement activities.
Speaking during the exercise, the Secretary of the Red Cross in the state, Hon. Tony Udegbu stated that the intervention will in a great measure reduce the immediate risk to health and raise awareness about yellow fever which he said has claimed so many lives in the state.
Mr Udegbu further charged the selected volunteers to actively participate in the training to ensure effective service delivery as they prepare to engage communities.
In her remarks, the organisation’s National Health Officer, Chinwe Nwakanma said the six weeks campaign in Enugu, Delta and Bauchi will target over 900,000 persons that will benefit from mosquito repellent and other activities of the Red Cross.
Nwakanma added that the campaign will involve door to door health and hygiene promotion, active case searches and referral of persons for vaccination, vector control activities at household and community level as well as the provision of community-based psychosocial support services to survivors and families of affected persons.
Expressing her delight, a trainee Mr Christopher Onwurah said the training has been an eye-opener and he will create more awareness about the disease in his community.
“The yellow fever disease did a lot of harm in my community. I am excited to be part of this training because it has opened my eyes to so many rumours and misconception we had about yellow fever. I will take the message back to my community and enlighten them on preventive measures to stop this disease”.
Participants were drawn from Enugu East, Igbo-etiti, Igboeze North, Isi-uzo, Nkanu East and Nsukka local government areas of the state.