A group , Interfaith Dialogue Forum for Peace, IDFP, has advised Makoko residents in Lagos to ignore the popular saying that COVID-19 is elitist.
The group gave the advice at a sensitisation programme organised for Makoko community members as part of efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19 in Lagos and Nigeria.
Addressing community members, a member of IDFP, Prof. Fatimo Abdulkareem, urged residents to disabuse their mind that COVID-19 is a fantasy or elitist.
She said, “As a medical practitioner, I have seen cases where some have died and some are still battling the disease. Let’s accept the reality of COVID-19 and learn to live with it by taking to necessary precautions.
“Wash your hands regularly, wear a Facemask in the public and remember, it is not a chin mask. Facemask is meant to cover the nose and the mouth . Also remember to practice physical distancing.
“While we cannot advice family members to practice physical distancing at home, it is advisable that we watch our partners and children. The assumption is that we are only safe at home but still, we have to be vigilant because once one member contracts the disease, every other person in the family is not safe.
Speaking on behalf of the residents, Baale of Makoko Community, Chief Raymond Akinsemoyin, noted that the initiative is apt and commendable.
He noted that government and private organisations must take responsibility by going into communities to sensitive citizens.
He stated that this is particularly necessary now that COVID-19 has entered community transmission stage in Nigeria.
“A stitch in time saves nine,” he said.
Earlier, the Publicity Secretary of IDFP, Elder( Mrs) Uzoaku Juliana, explained that the programme was thought of to further remind Nigerians on the need to keep safe and support them with safety items.
She said that the initiative is being carried out in collaboration with a Vienna-based International Dialogue Centre ,KAICIID.
“This programme is happening in 10 different states in Nigeria. This is our own way of supporting government in this critical period.”
Items distributed included: nosemasks, sanitisers, washing hand bucket, sensitisation fliers and liquid soap. There was also a demonstration session of how the safety items can be used.
In attendance at the programme were pastors, imams, traditionalists, teachers, artisans, young and elders, amongst others.