By Marie-Therese Nanlong
Jos – The active involvement of community gatekeepers like community leaders, traditional rulers, religious leaders, among others have been advocated as State governments continue in the fight against the COVID-19 disease.
The Chief Executive Officer, CEO Institute of Human Virology, Nigeria Dr. Patrick Dakum made the case in Jos stressing that until vaccine is available for the disease, there is need for an all-inclusive approach to curb the spread of the virus and enjoined citizens to strictly adhere to preventive measures put in place to curb the spread of the disease.
Speaking shortly after inspecting facilities at Human Virology Centre at the Plateau State Specialist Hospital, Dr. Dakum who is also Assistant Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, University of Maryland, School of Medicine Baltimore United States of America emphasized on the need for citizens to imbibe the use of facemasks at all times.
His words, “Until vaccine is ready, Nigerians need to be on guard, community leaders, traditional rulers, religious leaders and leader at all strata of the society must play active roles by sensitizing their subjects and followers that covid-19 is real and someone can be infected through close contact with an infected person. Even during this festive period, religious leaders have a role to play in this regard, sharing and eating of ram is good but we should be conscious of danger of crowding together.
“With the easing of lockdown, we have to emphasis on compulsory use of facemasks. The issue of face mask is something that we have talked about severally. Apparently, people are yet to get the fact that the use of face mask is extremely important as far as prevention is concerned. So, we must figure out a way to involve community gatekeepers to accept the idea.”