YEDI Empowers 1000 Lagosians with Health Palliatives, Food

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By Rebecca Ejifoma

Over 1000 residents of Lagos in Isolo, Oshodi area of the state received food items and health palliative from the Youth Empowerment Development Initiative (YEDI) to alleviate the negative impact of COVID-19.

The empowerment programme was bent on creating awareness about COVID-19 and how people can keep safe at this particular time, then also to give people health packs that they can use.

The first 750 beneficiaries received nose masks, hand sanitisers, vitamin C, as well as medicated soap among others. The other set of 250 people received food items to support themselves in this torrid time.

The Director of Programmes, YEDI, Tomisin Adeoye, explained that during the lockdown especially, people did not have access to their work.

While people are trying to stabilise, YEDI is supporting communities. Adeoye said, “We aim at supporting disadvantaged people”.

With a target to reach 6000 disadvantaged families in Nigeria with health packs, the organisation will be giving out food items to 2000 people.

“In the next few weeks, we will be reaching residents in Mushin. We will be holding this in 10 communities in the country,” Adeoye added.

With its presence in Lagos, Ogun, Akwa-Ibom states and Abuja, the director implored residents to continue keeping safe.

Adeoye cautioned: “COVID-19 is still very much around despite the easing of the lockdown, everybody should still keep on wearing their facemasks, washing their hands, and keep the social distancing.

“Yesterday, we had a community mobile outreach where we walked with health educators in oshodi isolo, with him we went round the community telling people the need for them to still keep safe despite the fact that the lockdown is being eased.”

Although YEDI is an adolescent focus and non-profit organisation that works on areas of adolescent health, sexuality, sexual protective health, malaria prevention, HIV/AIDS prevention, it is helping communities now based on the adverse effects of COVID-19 on young people.

Its Executive Director, Oje Ivagba, said, “We are running this programme across communities and local governments in Lagos to help reinforce and support the messages of government regarding prevention and safety practices for COVID-19.”

He hinted that the central message of the programme was about health, how to stay away from COVID-19, how to protect themselves, and correct the misinformation about the virus.

Ivagba added: “So we have been having mobile campaigns round Oshodi driving buses round. We have been stationed here, observing safety protocols for COVID-19 and giving out relief items and protective wears to community members.”

In his reaction, the Executive Vice Chairman of the Oshodi-Isolo Local Government, Daisi Oso expressed that “this is a time that you need a lot of collaboration, support from private sectors, NGOs.

“For YEDI to have thought of it at this time when the effect of COVID-19 is actually tearing people’s economies, homes, and so many things apart, one cannot but say a big thank you to the organisers and this organisation.”

He noted that some people do not even have as much to get facemask, much less hand sanitisers. “I want to say that the local government, having given them the necessary support and logistics to achieve this, I think like Oliver Twist, we are looking forward to the nearest future when they can also come and support us.

“And let me use this opportunity to also talk to other meaningful organisations who are there a lot of people are in there. Government can’t do it all alone”.

The Assistant Medical Office, Ministry of Health Oshodi-Isolo LGA, Dr Fahintola Bolaji urged Lagosians to continue using their nose mask, as it is for their own good.

Bolaji, therefore, implored Lagosians and Nigerians to be conscious. “We should not be carried away because after the lockdown things seem to be back to normal. We should continue to the use of facemask, hand washing and the use of sanitisers when unable to wash hands immediately.”