*Owerri, Imo State, May 9, 2020*: The Patriotic Citizens of Amuzi (PCA), a Non-Governmental Organization focused on the developmental interests of the Amuzi Autonomous Community, of over 20,000 people, in Ahiazu Mbaise, Imo State Nigeria, recently rebranded the Face Mask, as “ozondu”, which means “life saver” in Igbo language. The group is now set to launch the “Ozondu for All” initiative, to provide face masks against COVID-19, for all her citizens resident in the community.
The PCA embarked on this project, following concerns and recommendations of its Health Committee, Chaired by Mrs Catherine Otuibe, who is also President of the Amuzi Progressive Union, women’s wing. The committee had observed that this rural agrarian community was vulnerable to COVID-19, for being noncompliant with the Center for Disease Control (CDC)’s recommendation on wearing face masks, and recommended that those most at risk, but can’t afford a face mask, be issued one.
Commenting in corroboration of the PCA Health committee’s recommendation, Professor Viola Onwuliri, a Biochemist, former Nigerian Foreign Affairs Minister, and a native of Amuzi, said, “This is worrisome and very important as social distancing is not observed also in public transport( buses and taxis, ‘Okada’) , markets, village meetings, many shops and super markets etc. The mass mask program will reach many more people. I wish each person can have two masks so one can be washed each day used. They must be taught how to take care of it at the end of use, otherwise, people can infect themselves.”
The “CDC” recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.”
According to the Convener of the Organization, Professor Eddie Oparaoji, “this ‘Ozondu for All’ project is for now our best “vaccination” strategy to protect our families back home against COVID-19. it is that serious. Our goal is to ensure that our citizens who have need to be in environments where they could be exposed to COVID-19, are significantly protected. When accomplished in the coming days, we may have become the first rural African community to be fully face-masks compliant, against COVID-19.”
The Patriotic Citizens of Amuzi (PCA) Organization was established to work alongside other progressive Organizations or entities to move Amuzi and Amuzians into the global community. It is envisioned that the PCA would reignite dialogue, strengthen and re-energize the name Uhi Amuzi- to mean togetherness, and be a rallying platform to harness all Amuzi resources across the world, and make her an appealing global economic space