The coronavirus pandemic is a global phenomenon, a global emergency. With over 700,000 people already infected and almost 40,000 dead worldwide, coronavirus has put the global community in a troubled spot. The world is at risk, making it imperative for everybody to be involved in the fight against the disease.
Nigeria is also having its fair share of this pandemic. Every day, the number of those infected in the country keeps rising. With the near zero facilities available to fight the scourge, it means that all hands must be on deck, if humanity must be saved from imminent disaster.
That is why a research-based, non-governmental organization, African Development Institute of Research and Methodology (ADIRM), has taken upon itself, the task of partnering with government to fight coronavirus pandemic in the country.
According to the Director of the Institute, Prof. Ike Oluka, ADIRM was impelled to engage in the fight against coronavirus because of the well known fact that “in times of war, men and women must come out to confront and defeat the attacker”.
While rolling out the Institute’s intervention projects on COVID-19 in Enugu, Prof Oluka intimated that ADIRM had recruited and trained 150 Volunteer Corps, who are all graduates, and who would be paid a monthly stipends of N30,000 each.
The volunteers, he said, would assist with COVID-19 awareness and sensitization activities and surveillance, as well as serve as research assistants on coronavirus.
According to Prof. Oluka, ADIRM, made up of renowned professors and acclaimed professionals both in Nigeria and overseas, had in addition, trained some doctors, nurses and health workers from some private hospitals in Enugu State on inflection, prevention and control.
The Institute, he said, had equally developed and produced over 1,000 copies of protocol, 6,000 copies of NCDC COVID-19 information, education and communication materials, for dissemination as well as to guide healthcare workers on screening, identification and notification of suspected cases of COVID-19.
It had also procured Veronica buckets and protective gowns for donation to some private hospitals.
Most significantly, according to Prof. Oluka, ADIRM has “an isolated stand-alone facility with about 600 bed capacity” donated to it by Golden Royale Ltd, a private company in Enugu State, for COVID-19 isolation and treatment centre, in case there is an outbreak of the disease in the State.
He therefore called on public spirited individuals and organizations to rise to the occasion and help to fight this global scourge.
Acknowledging these contributions, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Enugu State, Dr. Ifeanyi Agujiobi, who represented Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, commended ADIRM for deciding to partner with government in this period of emergency.
He said the state government highly appreciated the efforts being made by ADIRM in the current fight against coronavirus and assured the Institute of government’s maximum cooperation and support at all times.
The chairman, Nigeria Medical Association, Enugu State, Dr. Ike Okwesili, in his speech, observed that ADIRM was the first non-governmental organization, NGO in Enugu State to be engaged in the fight against coronavirus.
He thanked the Institute for blazing the trail and prayed other organizations to follow suit so the deadly virus can be completely exterminated.