By Adejumoke Alebiosu
The Director General of National Youth Service Corps, Brigadier General Shuaibu Ibrahim has enjoined 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.
He made this appeal in a webinar organised recently 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,
According to the NYSC helmsman, the NCDC/NYSC partnership has remained strong in the fight against the deadly pandemic which 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.
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.
He thereafter stated the commitment of the scheme in ensuring that the safety protocols as prescribed would be 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.
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 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 of COVID-19 at the Orientation Camps.