From Msurshima Andrew Makurdi
The Government of Wales through United Purpose (UP), a Non governmental Organization in partnership with Benue State Government has flagged off the Covid-19 Response and Vaccine Preparedness in the state.
The programme which is funded by the Welsh Government has two main objectives; to enhance population’s knowledge on the virus and its protection and to prepare the health centers and the people the vaccination campaigns that is currently going on.
The Benue State Technical Officer of United Purpose (UP), Mr Shedrach Guusu, stated that they intend carrying out awareness campaigns on TV and Radio, sensitization campaign towards communities and general population as well as training sessions for staff of health centres in Benue state.
Mr Gusuu said the project is being funded by the Welsh Government as part of its strong and genuinely desire and commitment to assist African countries to fight the Covid-19 epidemic.
He said UP in collaboration with the Benue State Primary Health Care Board would work together to enhance proper knowledge and ambitious sensitization of health workers and the people of the state to take complete doses of the vaccine jabs against widespread myth from sceptics to prevent Covid-19 pandemic in the state.
Speaking during the flag off, the Executive Secretary Benue State Primary Health Care Board (PHCB),
Dr. Bem Ageda said the State government through the State Ministry of Health and PHCB has responded well to the Covid-19 pandemic despite the challenges of health care systems common to sub-sahara Africa.
“As we all know, the covid-19 pandemic has posed a series of crisis threat to many regions, and particularly to sub-Sahara Africa due to the combination of weak/developing national healthcare systems, poor basic hygiene, densely populated communities, higher prevalence of HIV/AIDS and TB, and an absence of welfare support systems,” he said.
Ageda who spoke through the Director of Essential Drugs and Logistics, Pharm Wanger Tiza, noted that the Benue state Government through the State Ministry of Health and the PHCB has been tirelessly supporting communities with the relevant awareness and sensitization, including provisions of Personal Protective Equipments (PPEs) and water points to ensure hand washing is practiced regularly.
Ageda who expressed appreciation to Welsh government and UP highlighted the PHCB focus in activities of sensitization as healthcare and Covid-19 prevention through training of healthcare staff on Covid-19 and supply of PPEs to healthcare centres, hygiene information needs and overcoming vaccine scepticisms through mass media, and rebuilding the economy and promoting resilience of the informal sector by engagement already trained women and youths on the production og of soaps for hand washing and reusable facemasks.
He expressed the hope that the action of UP and Welsh government will go a long way to strengthen the resolve of Benue state to kick Covid-19 out of the state.
Other partners Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (RUWASSA), Ministry of Women Affairs, Water Resource, Ministry of Information and others who spoke at the event pledged their support to sensitization exercise saying they will monitor the people closely to detect unexpected patterns of reaction to the vaccine as support to the state government.