As the coronavirus pandemic spreads to more states in the country, members of the National Youth Service Corps have intensified the production of hand sanitisers and face masks across 20 states.
The NYSC said the production of more sanitisers and masks were to complement state Federal and State Governments’ efforts and to prevent community spread of the coronavirus with nationwide cases already above 300.
Authorities of the scheme told our correspondent that corps members through the Skill Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development programme were at the forefront of the production of hand sanitisers and face masks.
The NYSC Director-General, Brig. Gen. Shuaibu Ibrahim, who has gone on an inspection of how the corps members produced the materials, said the scheme had also put in place facilities to ensure that orientation camps nationwide functioned adequately as isolation centres.
The DG said, “Given the alarming rate in which the virus keeps spreading globally and to limit such spread in Nigeria, the NYSC management in its determination to effectively contribute to the national effort at stemming the tide complied with the Presidential directive by releasing its orientation camps and facilities to serve as isolation centres.
“Also, in line with the cardinal objectives of the scheme, corps medical personnel across states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, do not only engage themselves in various activities in hospitals designated for this purpose, but they have also been involved in organised enlightenment campaigns through radio, television and other online media platforms to sensitise Nigerians to the adverse effects of the disease and the need to adhere to safety measures outlined by relevant health bodies.”
The NYSC had on March 18 suspended its three-week orientation course for the Batch A, Stream 1 corps members nationwide, asking them to rather report at their places of primary assignments.
The pandemic had prevented the mobilisation of the Stream 2 of Batch A corps members which was supposed to commence on April 2.
A statement released by NYSC on Monday listed some states where the corps members had already commenced the production of the hand sanitisers and face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19.
“In Oyo State, corps members under the Cosmetology Skill Group produced and distributed hand sanitisers to members of the public as its contribution towards combating the disease in the state. Also in Kwara State, a group of corps members produced and freely distributed hand sanitisers and packaged liquid soaps during a state-wide campaign.
“In Bayelsa State, a corps member, Enokela Anyebe with BY/19B/0185, also produced and distributed hand sanitisers to children, youths and the aged while sensitising them separately in four communities of the state. In Cross River, a corps member, Hodo Bassey with CR/19C/3283, donated his monthly allowance to the state government as part of his contribution to the state’s effort towards mobilising funds to provide logistics needed to address COVID-19 pandemic in the state.
“Another corps member, Adefisoye Joseph with OG/19B/1322 from Ogun State equally produced and donated hand washing liquid soaps to the state government committee in charge of the control of COVID-19 pandemic in the state. The NYSC Editorial and Publicity Community Development Service Group in Sokoto State focused on the production of an audio-visual jingle to sensitise members of the general public on the need to adhere to safety measures and other hygienic best practices.
“Also in Abia State, corps members produced face masks and sanitisers for donation to the general public and in Nasarawa State, the NYSC DG and the State Coordinator, Mr Stephen Dewan, accompanied corps members to present face masks produced by them to the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development.”
The NYSC noted that in conjunction with various national and international organisations, it was playing a leading role in the implementation of national programmes aimed at eradicating disease outbreaks.