CSOs train 165 Nigerians on production of nose masks, sanitisers

*All materials for production of fabric nose masks sourced locally

Alexander Davis | ConsumerConnect

In an effort at supporting the provision of more Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) for Nigerians to further curb the spread of Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), Voluntary Overseas Service (VSO), in collaboration with Climate and Sustainable Development Network (CSDevNet), has trained 162 vulnerable women, persons living with ​disabilities and youths on production​ of nose masks and hand sanitisers.

Mr. Pius Oko, Project Officer, CSDevNet, in a statement in Abuja, FCT, Friday, July 3, said other partners on the project include SDGs and the Nigeria Youth Engagement Network (NYEN), according to agency report.

Oko stated that the aim of the training that included the use and distribution of the sanitisers and nose masks is to help end communal spread of COVID-19 in the country.

The training, which took place in Abuja and Kano State, in Northern Nigeria, had 132 women and girls, four persons living with disabilities and 26 boys as beneficiaries.

“COVID-19 has affected over 216 countries, areas or territories, with an average case fatality ratio of over four per cent from January to June 2020.​

The CSDevNet Project Officer said: “As the number of cases climbs, countries as well as Nigeria and its​ citizens need to enhance effort to try to curb the spread, discontinue community transmission, and ‘flatten the curve’ to prevent health care systems from being overwhelmed.

Masks could be used either for protection of healthy persons (worn to protect oneself when in contact with an infected individual) or for source control (worn by an infected individual to prevent onward transmission), stated he.​

Nonetheless, Oko explained that the use of a mask alone is insufficient to provide an adequate level of protection or source control.

He stated that other recommended health protocols and safety measures should be adhered to by individual and at community level adopted to suppress transmission of respiratory viruses and current COVID-19 pandemic.

Mr. Lucky Abeng, Team Lead, SDGs and VSO NYEN Abuja,​was quoted to have said: “Whether or not face masks are used, compliance with hand washing hygiene, physical distancing and other infection prevention and control measures is critical to prevent human-to-human transmission of COVID-19.

The purpose of the lead capacity building programme, face mask and hand sanitiser training, distribution and use in vulnerable communities in FCT, Kano and Adamawa state was to support efforts, tackle and prevent person-to-person transmission against the infection, he stressed.

Ms. Paschaline Eze, VSO Return Volunteer and NYEN member, said the initiative was pioneered by the VSO COVID-19 Response Small Grant Project.

According to her, all materials for the production of the fabric facemask were sourced locally, with NYEN volunteers mostly contributing immensely to train and boost the output in capacity building and production.

“Soft loan and grant for fashion designers to produce at a subsidised rate are also major challenges confronting the further engagement, face mask use and up scaling this initiative to other communities,” Mr. Jamila Musa, representative from VSO NYEN Kano, was quoted to have said.

On maintaining hygiene of masks, Goodness Oluchi Obijuru, VSO Return Volunteer and NYEN member, said a nose mask should only be used by one person.

It should be washed frequently with hot water and were not available, wash with soap/detergent at room temperature water and handled carefully, he stated.

Obijuru added: “So as not to contaminate other items, if the layers of fabrics look noticeably worn out, discard the mask properly into a waste bin.”

Miss Shawulu Faith, a beneficiary of the training in Abuja, said the training was a motivation and eye-opener to contribute her little quota to curbing the spread of the COVID- 19 virus in her community.

Faith stated: “I will try to seek funding in order to keep up the production and distribution minding the importance of face-mask now.”

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