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GreenLight Initiative decry lack of PPE, training for drivers transporting COVID-19 equipments

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The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has announced the inclusion of two more laboratories into the country’s COVID-19 pandemic molecular network. PHOTO:Twitter

Group under the auspices of GreenLight Initiative has raised alarm over the lack the lack personal protective equipment (PPE) and training for truck and ambulance drivers who are responsible for the transportation of medical supplies, patients, and logistics needed for COVID-19 management in Nigeria.

Greenlight Executive Director, Simon Obi who noted this during a training for truck and ambulance drivers in River State at the weekend maintained that they are ill-trained and equipped.

The training was done in collaboration with Iwuanyanwu National Ambulance Foundation, Ministry of Health and Rivers State government.

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Obi explained that the training modules were designed to empower drivers and assist them with COVID-19 safety protocols, basic infection prevention control, basic first aid, appropriate and rational use of PPE and education on road safety measures.

The director maintained that the training will enable drivers to protect themselves from contracting COVID-19, enforce and advocate for COVID-19 safety protocols as they deliver on their jobs
Adding that drivers will also ensure that COVID-19 supplies and equipment are delivered to hospitals in a safe and timely manner.

He went on: “With more than 80 percent of Nigeria’s economic activities hinged on road transport with people and goods needing to move from point A to B for daily lives , many drivers commute without applying safety protocols, contributing to further spread of the COVID-19 virus”

“Those affected most are motorists who are responsible for truck and ambulance operations in Nigeria”
“Between May and June of 2020, a video of an ambulance team who tried to transport a COVID-19 patient went viral over the Internet because of the poor way the team handled the patient without consideration for their personal safety”.

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“Incidents like this occur daily and reflect the reality on the ground in so many places in Nigeria. Similarly, many of these drivers operate without knowledge of road safety, which results in injuries, loss of lives, and damage to medical and logistics equipment needed for a functional health supply chain”.

“These negative consequences worsen already-existing health commodity transportation and logistics challenges, such as an discredited workforce; lack of occupational safety practices; and a dangerous working environment”.

“It is for this reason that GreenLight Initiative has partnered with Iwuanyanwu National Ambulance Foundation and Ministry of Health, Rivers State to implement a COVID-19 response safety training for drivers in Rivers State, the training is aimed at empowering these drivers with safety knowledge”.

“Safety Training for Ambulance and Truck Drivers during COVID-19” has taken place in Abuja, Gombe, Kano, Lagos and Anambra State Nigeria. The last pilot phase of the training is taking place today in Rivers State.”

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