The coronavirus known as COVID-19 was first discovered in late 2019 in Wuhan, China and was declared a pandemic on March 11, 2020 by the World Health Organization (WHO) prompting all nations to be on red alert with specific concerns for the developing world especially Sub- Sahara Africa (SSA) as she is surrounded with an enormous lack of infrastructure to handle this magnitude of catastrophe ravaging the world while Nigeria recorded her 1st case on the 27th of February, 2020.
The coronavirus is a novel virus that affects humans with notable symptoms like fever, dry cough, difficulty in breathing, dry throat amongst others and the illness takes about 14 days to develop while resident in the human body, anyone experiencing this symptoms should self-isolate so as to contain the spread of the virus this as stated by both the World Health Organization (WHO) and National Center for Disease Control (NCDC).
PROACT, being strategically placed as the foremost development (livelihood) program for small rural farm households in northern Nigeria has continued to create awareness on various challenges faced by the farm families and build resilience of these farming communities as indicated in her strategic objectives, “To improve the food security, nutrition and resilience of vulnerable groups in Adamawa and Kebbi States of northern Nigeria”.
The project, having been trained by the World Health Organization state offices both in Adamawa and Kebbi States on COVID-19 sensitization and prevention has step-down these trainings through these components; Farmers/Community Radio Program, Village Savings and Loans scheme, Policy influencing and Advocacy campaigns.
The Project Team has continued to engage stakeholders and community partners on the necessary precautions to prevent the outbreak and control the spread of the novel virus, SARS-CoV-2 even within rural communities as they are faced with a dearth of medical facilities needed to combat the virus and thus placed as high risk.
Through the Community Radio Program titled PROACT Ta Ke KiRa on 92.9 Vision FM, in Kebbi State and Dandalin Manoma on 91.5 Gotel FM and AM in Adamawa State, the Project has been able to reach a wider community outside her communities of intervention educating them of the Pandemic and the various method of prevention while going about their businesses.
In the last 4 Weeks, The PROACT Radio had guests from the different Civil society Organizations, Medical Practitioners, community partners and government health officials. The Radio program have successfully held four (4) sessions on the Prevention, Detection and education on COVID-19, with topics ranging from its detection, transmission and modes of prevention of COVID-19 with specific incite on the role of Government, civil societies and community Partners in addressing both the Virus and the aftermath effect of the virus on the economy and livelihood of the people.
The Village Savings and Loans associations (VSLA) are not left out as these groups has been constantly engaged by the Field Officers with regards to the pandemic as they must abide by the guidelines provided by the Government and the Project in tackling this disease. The measures to be taken includes; maintaining social distance, regular washing of hands either with soap and water or with an alcohol based sanitizer, always avoid touching your face and always cough or sneeze into the flex of the elbow in absence of paper tissues, the use of latex gloves by the money counters and the reduction of the VSLA meeting times to two sittings per month.
PROACT Radio Program Guest speakers So far:
The Guest speakers for the Radio Program aired so far, includes:
Medicine Department of Sir Yahaya Memorial Hospital, Birnin-Kebbi, Kebbi State; Dr Aminu Muhammad Bello and Dr Hafsat Shehu Gwandu
Association of Medical Laboratories, Kebbi State Branch; Isiyaku Daniel Rantom
ZAKI’s Gem; Hajiya Nafisa Muhammad Zaki
Kebbi Concerned citizen; Malam ALIYU Garba Besse
Sir Yahaya Memorial Hospital, Birnin-Kebbi, Kebbi State; Retired Chief Nurse, Mr Aliyu Garba
Community Partners; Malam Dahiru Zarumai from Kola community and Malam Abubakar Jadadi from Jega community.
Adamawa State Ministry of Health and Human Resources; Assistant Director, Public Health Mr. Dogara Paul Musa
Adamawa State Center for Disease control; Dr. Tenmuso David Jatau.