COVID-19: NOA takes enlightenment campaign to grassroots- By Reginald Okoro

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The National Orientation Agency (NOA) says it embarked on enlightenment and advocacy campaigns on prevention of COVID-19 community spread to local government areas (LGAs) in Ebonyi to sensitive rural people.

Dr Emma Abah, State Director of NOA in Ebonyi, stated this Thursday during an enlightenment and advocacy sensitisation campaign to the palace of Ezeogo Sunday Oketa, traditional ruler of Nkaliki Echara autonomous community in Ebonyi LGA of Ebonyi.

Abah explained that the sensitization campaign tagged: ‘Increased Risk Communication and Community Engagement on COVID-19’ was aimed at engaging people at the grassroots on the need to be committed in the fight against community spread of the virus.

According to him, the statewide advocacy and sensitization programme will afford the traditional rulers, town union leaders and other members of the various communities in the state in-depth knowledge and understanding on COVID-19 preventive measures.

He said that exercise was also aimed at emphasising need to observe restrictions on burial and social gathering in order to stay safe.

He added that the initiative was equally geared towards addressing the dangers of open defecation, enlightement of rural dwellers who still live in ignorance and doubt about the existence of the virus.

The director urged the people to increase their level of personal hygiene by maintaining regular handwash and obey all government approved restrictions and protocols in their various communities and villages to prevent community spread of the virus.

“Our advocacy visit and sensitisation is aimed to stop community spread of the dreaded virus.

“We believe that rural dwellers will listen and believe their traditional or community leaders when they educate and advise them on the necessary safety measures to take to avoid contracting the disease.

“We want the traditional rulers to assist us to extend the crusade to hard-to-reach areas, especially the vulnerable people and those who are above 50 years of age .

Dr Emma Abah, NOA Ebonyi State Director fifth from right in a group pix with agency officials and Ezeogo Sunday Oketa, traditional ruler of Nkaliki Echera in Ebonyi LGA of Ebonyi State and members of his cabinet during NOA sensitization /advocacy campaign to the area.

“Federal government has always made efforts through well conceived and articulated programmes to address challenges such as COVID-19 and we know that you will pass the message to other traditional rulers in Ebonyi LGA,” Abah said.

He appealed to Oketa and his cabinet to spur his subjects to adhere strictly to the COVID-19 protocols.

Meanwhile, Oketa responding, expressed readiness to embark on sensitisation of his subjects to prevent community spread of the virus in his domain .

The traditional ruler commended President Muhammadu Buhari’s well conceived and articulated efforts to address the social and economic problems confronting the citizens due to the pandemic.

He also called on federal government to assist the state government in developing rural access roads to enable them achieve victory in the fight.

“We are ready to go down to the grassroots to deliver the message and even share face masks and other items for prevention, but we are challenged with bad roads, especially this rainy season,” Oketa said.

Chief Augustine Enigwe, President of Amike-Aba Development Union commended the team for the visit and assured that the villagers would get comprehensive information about disease.

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