The Victims Support Fund (VSF) Taskforce on COVID-19 has donated Video Teleconferencing Solutions Device valued, N31 million to Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to facilitate its service delivery.
Video conferencing is a telecommunication gadget used in bringing people together, face-to-face, no matter where they are.
Mrs Toyosi Akerele-Ogunsiji, Head of the Taskforce, during the presentation in Abuja on Monday, said that NCDC was one of the most important government agencies in Nigeria, hence there was a need to support its activities.
She said the idea of donating the device was to aid the NCDC management to reach out to its staff faster, considering the role of the centre.
“We realise that the centre needs a strategic communication framework to reach out to people across all the health care institutions within the federation for an urgent response to disease control,” she said.
She also noted that the Chairman of VSF, Gen. TY Danjuma (Rtd) inaugurated the VSF Task Force on COVID-19 so as to provide palliatives to Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and other vulnerable groups around the country.
She also said the taskforce donated 10 kg bags of rice, beans, maize, garri, 4 litres of vegetable oil and 2kg of salt to many households across four geopolitical zones of the country, covered so far.
Akerele-Ogunsiji said that 27,000 households across Lagos, Ogun, Borno, Adamawa, Yobe and Taraba states would be benefiting from the gesture.
She further said the exercise was to mitigate the hardship that Nigerians, particularly the vulnerable, were experiencing at this period of the pandemic.
According to her, VSF is committed to sustaining efforts in the global fight against the devastating Coronavirus pandemic.
“It will continue to work to provide succour to victims of insurgency and armed conflicts in Nigeria, especially in the areas of livelihood, recovery, education, protection, infrastructural development as well as research and peacebuilding,” she said.
She said that VSF had so far, reached out to relevant stakeholders with medical consumables, Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) facilities and personal protective equipment in a bid to curtail the spread of the virus.
“We are also working with the vulnerable, institutions and agencies supporting the government as part of its contribution to national efforts in the fight against COVID-19.
“The task force is working closely with all the relevant agencies at the Federal, State and Local Governments to contain the pandemic,” she said.
Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, Director-General, NCDC, appreciated VSF taskforce for reaching out to the centre, saying that the intervention would help the centre facilitate response to disease as it would reduce the cost of moving from one place to another.
Ihekweazu noted that the intervention was apt and would actively help the centre to drive its response.
“This particular intervention will be credibly useful for our response considering our role.
According to him, the big task the centre has is coordinating the 36 states and Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in the country.
“We have a public health department and emergency operation centre in each of those states, what we try to do is to make sure that we are all alive in the response.
“We provide them with all the support that they need to respond to this outbreak and other outbreak in their states.
“And in order to do that effectively, we need this kind of communication equipment especially now that we cannot travel as often as we want.
“Even when the roads are opened up, it takes a lot to ask the state team to leave their states and come to a central location,’’ he said.
He, however, was optimistic that the world would not be the same after this Coronavirus outbreak “as far as public health is concerned and we will have to engage more of this communication equipment.
“Because this is exactly what we need at this point in time; a new way of living, a new way of working; where you are constantly in touch with people without actually physically travelling,” he said.