Take advantage of COVID-19 vaccination now, DG NYSC charges PCMs
The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC )
has urged serving and Prospective Corps Members to quickly take advantage of the opportunity provided by the Federal Government by making themselves available for the COVID-19 vaccination currently going on nationwide.
The Director-General of the NYSC, Brigadier General Shuaibu Ibrahim made the appeal Friday in a Webinar organised today by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) in conjunction with the National Youth Service Corps NYSC aimed at sensitising the 2021 Batch ‘C’ Prospective Corps Members (PCMs) on safety measures adopted to ensure a safe and COVID-19 free Orientation Course Exercise nationwide.
According to the Director General, the NCDC/NYSC partnership has remained strong in the fight against the deadly pandemic and this is evident in the role Corps Members played and have continued to play in public health training, sensitization, production and distribution of facemasks, hand sanitisers, detergents and other disinfectant devices.
General Ibrahim who hailed the recent pronouncement of the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on COVID-19 stating that as from 1st December, 2021, no public officer would be allowed into office premises without showing evidence of vaccination.
He therefore advised both serving and prospective Corps Members to ensure that they get vaccinated in order not to run the risk of being caught on the wrong side of this pronouncement, as they would be treated just like other employees in their various places of primary assignment.
He further stressed the need for Corps Members to be change agents and strive to dispel the myth on COVID 19 vaccination, noting that during the recent nationwide doctors’ strike, NYSC Corps personnel were working. ‘We don’t go on strike’, the DG added.
Ibrahim also appealed to the prospective Corps Members to avoid night journeys while travelling to their respective Orientation Camps and further advised them to plan out their journeys in such a way that it does not exceed 6pm. In the event they are unable to get to their destination on or before 6pm, he encouraged them to break their journeys as arrangement for transit accommodation have been provided in military barracks and other government designated safe havens in order to continue their journey the next day.
He further warned them against boarding vehicles along the way, but go to government designated parks where most of their drivers have already been trained and sensitized.
He informed the Prospective Corps Members that their days of reporting to camp have been spread over five (5) days in order to ensure that there is no overcrowding during registration. He consequently enjoined them to adhere strictly to their days of reporting to the camp as indicated on their NCDC form.
The Director-General also drew the attention of the prospective Corps Members to the use of Social Media, noting that they are expected to follow official NYSC handles for authentic information.
General Ibrahim also used the opportunity to appreciate the Federal Government, Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19, as well as the NCDC on the safe reopening of Orientation Camps since November last year.
While congratulating the outgoing Director-General of NCDC, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, on his appointment as Assistant Director General, World Health Organisation, he also thanked the Federal Government for the continued provision of Rapid Test Kits, as well as vaccination in all the camps nationwide.
He thereafter stated the commitment of the Scheme in ensuring that the safety protocols as prescribed were strictly adhered to in all the NYSC camps.
Earlier in his address, the out-going Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu welcomed the participants to the Webinar which he said was very important in sensitising the prospective Corps Members on the measures put in place to ensure they are safe from the dreaded COVID-19, as well as educate them on what is expected of them in ensuring that the camps remain COVID-19 free.
According to him, the COVID-19 pandemic which started in Wuhan, China in December 2019 and got into Nigeria in February, 2020, greatly impacted the nation on the two major fronts of public health and socio-economic sphere of life.
The public health was at a great risk while the socio-economic life was grinding to a halt, with the lockdown including the Orientation Course programme.
He further appreciated the NYSC for its prompt and proactive stance in frontally attacking the pandemic which culminated in a partnership with the NCDC and wondered the extent of health and social devastation that would have happened if there were no Orientation Course programmes since the advent of the pandemic last year.
He also commended the NCDC/NYSC partnership which has afforded the NCDC the opportunity to train some Corps Members in the area of public health, thus increasing the capacity of the agency in combating COVID-19.
Dr. Ihekweazu then charged the prospective Corps m
Members to take personal responsibility in holding one another accountable and effectively utilise the various provisions made available in camps and observe the non-pharmaceutical protocols towards ensuring that there was no incident of transmission in the camps.
The Webinar featured question and answer session where panelists educated participants on various issues of concern as regards COVID-19 and safety protocol, especially in an orientation camp scenario.