By Ado Hassan, Sokoto
FOLLOWING the Covid-19 second phase trend, the Bakhita Initiative of the Sokoto Catholic Diocese has organised a sensitization and training programme for Sokoto state border towns community and religious leaders towards curtailing the spread of the virus just as the state confirmed 55 treated cases from the pandemic.
Dr. Bello Ali Inname of Public Health Department of the state Ministry of Health made the confirmation Thursday while presenting Lecture on the state Covid-19 general over view.
He disclosed that state had between April 2020 to date , recorded 756 Covid-19 cases.
He lamented the wrong perception of the pandemic by some people who still view the virus as one for the rich.
According to him , no fewer than 18 out of the 23 LGAs have one or more cases on the highly contagious disease.
” We have intensified efforts at routine and continuous contact tracing through our RRT operational strategy as we build up on our campaigns down the grassroots.”
The 3-day programme embarked by the Bakhita Initiative with the support from GIZ and the African Union has as its theme: ” Fighting the Spread of Covid-19 is Our Collective Responsibility”
Also , in his presentation from the traditional perspective, the Sarkin Yakin Gagi Community, Alhaji Sani Uamr Jabbi described the disease as an’ invisible AK47′ which knew no race, religion , ethnic or political backgrounds, stressing that its a big health challenge to not only Sokoto state but Nigeria and the world.
According to Jabbi who also had been an advocate of social awareness on health and GBV matters in the state and Nigeria said there has to be a deliberate focus to strengthen the campaigns through against the spread of the virus through concerted efforts using the traditional institutions especially at the grassroots levels.
” We need to be educated and educate others on the dangers . We are created and sanctioned to serve and save humanity irrespective of backgrounds.
” This phase of the pandemic is more attacking than the previous when many people even denied its spread . Some even say, hose tested positive from the virus were paid to accept that is real”, he recalled with concern.
The traditional leader maintained that there was the urgent need for people to realise the reality of the disease and collectively support all moves to fight its spread by taking preventive than curative measures especially at the grassroots where campaigns would be more effective .
” Both Islam and Christianity encourage saving humanity. I am not in tune with those alleging that the western world is using Covid-19 to erase African population. Let redouble our efforts at phasing out the pandemic”, he stated.
In his remark, Director, Bakhita Initiative, Rev. Fr. Emehel Lawrence said the essence of the all important programme was to further strengthen windows and capacity of stàkeholders especially those close to the grassroots at the border communities to pilot against the spread of the pandemic which had entered second phase.
He said Sokoto state’s strategic location with borders between it and neighbouring Niger republic needed to be put in perspective in fighting the pandemic.
” We need to take the programme seriously in order to address the spread of the disease . We have other similar programmes coming for health workers and security agencies especially those operating at border towns. The media is key too”, he disclosed while pointing out that the course is a collective effort.