From Steve Oko, Umuahia
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in conjunction with the National Orientation Agency (NOA) have commenced intensive sensitisation of schools in Abia State on the imperative of observing COVID-19 protocols ahead of a possible second wave of the global pandemic.
The UNICEF team visited schools in all three senatorial zones in the state to monitor the compliance of both pupils and students as well as teachers to covid-19 protocols, and further educate them on the need for strict adherence.
Some of the schools visited during the 3-day tour include: Amato-Ezi Igbere Community School in Bende Local Government Area, Girls Secondary School Abayi Umuocham Aba, Constitution Crescent Primary School Aba , Uzuakoli Methodist College, and Girls Technical College Aba.
UNICEF Desk Officer in charge of Media and Publicity in the state, Mr. Okezie Nkpa, said the sensitisation and monitoring tour had become necessary to ensure pupils and students were fully armed with the right information about covid-19 and the necessary protocols.
He expressed satisfaction with the level of awareness among the students and pupils in the schools visited while urging them to help in educating others particularly their parents on the imperative of observing the safety protocols.
Addressing pupils, students and teachers during the visit, the Abia State Director of NOA, Dr. Mrs. Ngozi Okechukwu, also commended the students and teachers for their impressive compliance level with the protocols.
The NOA boss urged them to discountenance the erroneous belief among some folks that the pandemic was not real.
She warned that a relapse in observing the protocols could spell doom to the state especially as the second wave of the pandemic had been reported in some countries.
The NOA Director identified the vital protocols to include: constant washing of hands with soap under running water for at least 20 seconds, compulsory and proper wearing of face mask when outside the home, maintenance of social distancing of at least two metres, among others.
A public Health expert, Mr. John Onwugbufo, who was also on the team sensitised the students on maintaining personal hygiene and healthy lifestyle including eating a balanced diet for adequate body immunity.