Sunday, 22 March 2020

COVID-19 Pandemic: CRSG visits riverian communities in Eburutu

Government News Source|22 March 2020 

One peculiar characteristic about Cross River State is its topography, hilly at one end and waterlogged in the other, but one thing is certain about a government that cares, once there is a will, every leader turns challenges into opportunities and this is what the Cross River State government has demonstrated in Atanonoyom Clan of Eniong Abatim ward as it conducted a massive health outreach and sensitization to spread the message of COVID-19 and other common health challenges especially as it concerns the health and well being of its people.

Often, accessibility is more challenging than equipment, material supply and distribution and government may not be totally responsible owing to the distance travelled from various local government council headquarters to communities of interest even with good and accessible road network, it takes only committed and passionate leadership to touch the lives of all and prove that all live matters.

This zeal was displayed by the DG, Cross River State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr Janet Ekpenyong as she took the sensitization to the hinterlands of Atanonoyom in odukpani Local Government Area of Cross River State, a riverian community with a population of over 5,000 inhabitants who are predominantly farmers during their annual "Eburutu Day Celebration".

The DG who noted that the drive was orchestrated by the passionate leadership of His Excellency, Senator Professor Ben Ayade who have continually displayed selfless and uncommon transposition especially for the poor and the vulnerable groups, urged other political leaders to listen to the yearning of their people especially now that the world is hit by covid19, an epidemic that respects no colour nor class.

She stated that irrespective of the terrain and difficulties in accessing any community, the Leadership of the Primary Healthcare agency with mandate from His Excellency, Senator Professor Ben Ayade, will not relent in any ways to take health initiatives enjoyed anywhere in the state and country at large to these communities as she described the Primary Healthcare Agency as a grassroot oriented agency with targeted population aimed at reaching and alleviating the sufferings of  the vulnerable groups comprising of women, children and the elderly.

"I am proud of the Eburutu Nation, you have shown leadership among yourselves, with notable leaders raised from here and celebrated nationwide.
Today, we have a new stranger in town, Covid-19, it has come like every other viruses, but unlike other Corona viruses, this is a new strain of it, and that is why we haven't gotten a vaccine for its treatment yet, but am assured that soonest ,we shall come up with vaccines to curtail this virus but before then,we must protect ourselves and the lives of everyone we love by observing simple rules ranging from nutrition,personal and environmental hygiene"

She noted that irrespective of government's presence in the area, the issue of communal clash has continued to limit progression of development, as she tasked all leaders in their various rights, to engage their followers to embrace peace and work for the collective interest of the people .

"On my way here, I discovered a community that was isolated, houses were burnt, and this makes me feel so sad that inspite of all that had been done in the past, our people have failed to recognise each other as brothers and sisters, the worst of it is the destruction of one of our best Primary Healthcare facilities in the state, which has deprived our women and children from accessing quality healthcare, I urge you all to come in terms and create a harmonious environment especially for the next generation so that our people can enjoy health privileges like every other Cross Riverians".

The Community  leader of Eburutu and village head of Atan Onoyom, Chief Francis Effiom Idim who appreciated the efforts of the Cross River State government and specifically the DG,  Primary Healthcare development Agency in taking awareness to his community irrespective of the constraints and difficulty in accessing the community, says such intervention is the first of its kind in the community and it  will go a long way to create a healthy society for his people,he furthered  encouraged all the community members to take advantage of this rare opportunity to check for their blood pressure, sugar level, HIV/AIDs status, and imbibe in the culture of good personal hygiene especially to checkmate the spread of Covid19 and good environmental sanitation to drive the nation's most threatening disease before Covid-19, Lassa Fever.

Highlight of the event was the sensitization of members of the community by the DG on lassa fever and covid19, practical display of effective hand washing, distribution of alcohol based  sanitizers, mosquito nets, veronica buckets, liquid hand wash and many other health materials with another health outreach scheduled for a date to be determined soon.

She urged them not to panic,as fear only expose one to mistakes,avoid crowded places like today's gatherings, market places,maintain at least 2 meters distance with anyone coughing or sneezing,Wash your hands frequently with soap under running water or use hand sanitisers,seek the attention of a medical personnel and don't employ the option of self medication.

Currently there are about 286,955 cases with 11,890 deaths worldwide,and about a 20 cases recorded in Nigeria with no incidence in Cross River State. So far the Cross River State Government is taking proactive steps through daily and routine visits to schools,market places,motor parks,air and seaports,various communities by the leadership of the state commissioner for Health,Dr Betta Edu alongside other development partners.

The Eburutu International day is celebrated yearly with five clans Eniong, ItoIdereUkwa and Eki, with today marking the third anniversary,  aimed at uniting the various clans in Eburutu nation on economic and political growth.

Simon Imani writes for State Primary Health Care Department Agency 

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