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NGO decries low COVID-19 awareness in Kogi communities

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Participation Initiative for Behavioural Change in Development (PIBCID) has expressed worry over the low level of awareness about the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in rural Kogi State.

The Executive Director, Halima Sadiq, disclosed this to The Guardian in Lokoja yesterday, after the non-governmental organisation’s sensitisation visit to Adavi and other rural communities in the state.

According to her, the group’s choice of the rural communities is as a result of the low awareness about the pandemic in those areas compared to the cities.

Her words, “In Lokoja, the state capital, for instance, people are aware of this deadly COVID-19. But on getting to these communities, people do not even know that such disease exists and I was wondering if the people are with us. This is dangerous. So we decided to take the campaign to them, so that they would not be taken unawares.

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“It is worrisome that despite the measures put in place by the Federal Government through the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the various state governments, the virus has continued to spread, hence it became necessary to embark on aggressive sensitisation and campaign to curtail its spread in Kogi.”

PIBCID, in partnership with ActionAid Nigeria, had embarked on aggressive sensitisation campaigns across Kogi since the outbreak of COVID-19 in the country to create awareness on the danger of the pandemic.

The ED stressed that her organisation was carrying out the campaign to tell the people the seriousness of the pandemic, which had claimed several lives across the globe, including Nigeria.

She disclosed that the group was able to educate the people on personal hygiene, the need for social distancing and other measures to curtail the spread of the virus, as outlined by relevant agencies.

The people were also told how the coronavirus could be contacted and the steps that could be taken to ward it off, she noted, adding that posters had been provided to further the campaign in the communities. The sensitisation programme was carried out in 13 communities of Adavi and Igalamela councils of the state. They include Osisi, Osara, Osaragada, Aku and Atami in Adavi, as well as Ugbedomagu, Apata, Ajodan, Ogboba, Ujagba, Ofuloko, Aya and Okpakpata in Igalamela.

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