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Nigerians cautioned against stigmatisation of COVID-19 patients



NIGERIANS have been urged to avoid stigmatisation of persons affected by the coronavirus as it is not a death sentence but should sensitise the populace on precautionary measures.

  A community leader, Ngozi Mbachi made the  appeal to women of Aboatulu  Kindred Meeting, Enugwu-Ukwu, Njikoka LGA, Anambra State during a COVID-19 pandemic palliative distribution.

Mrs Mbachi said that over 50 women from  Enugwu-Ukwu benefited from Aboatulu Women union palliative program .

She urged the public to stop stigmatisation of persons already affected by the virus as such act would derail the efforts to contain the spread in various communities of the state.

“All we need to do at the moment is to observe all the precautionary measures given by WHO and medical experts. Stigmatisation would make the people to hide relatives with symptoms.

“Nobody would like to live with the stigmatisation associated with the coronavirus. The fear of been mistreated would make people to hide information,” she said . 

Mbachi said that the people at rural areas were already aware of the dangers linked to the coronavirus, but sound enlightenment was required to drum the measures to the people.

 She urged the beneficiaries of the COVID-19 palliatives to be prudent in management of the resources available to them so as not to run out of food stock while the pandemic lasts.

She appealed to Anambra State Government to tighten security at borders in order to forestall influx of people as well as prevent spread of coronavirus pandemic in the state and not to create fear.

She said that the union empowered 10 women with funds to engage in small businesses like Zobo drink, puff puff, chin chin and buns to ensure that the families were well cared for at the moment of hardship.

“No woman should fold her hands now but should try out their hands in lots of small business ventures and farming to make ends meet,” she said

Mrs Nwabugwu Okafor a centenarian , who benefited from the palliative said it would cushion the effects of coronavirus pandemic been experienced in the community and expressed joy over the action.

Mrs Elizabeth Okafor, 93, grand matron of the Aboatulu  Women Union urged the women to use the palliative wisely and ensure that they educate their children on the need to observe COVID-19 precautionary measures.

Okafor said that since there was no known cure for the virus, that they would follow all directives given to them so as to stay alive and appealed to government to ensure that security operatives carry out their duties.

Mrs Grace Anagor, Vice President of the union said that the executives sourced over N500,000 from their husbands to achieve the vision to cushion effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on their members .

She advised the women to carry the news to all their families and ensure they follow all directives to the latter.

 Mrs Patty Anagor, a member of the union, commended the union executives for the training and empowerment given to the women to sustain their families and assured that they would spread the message to others.

 Mrs Uju Ekwoanya , the resource person who trained the women on soap making, bleach, zobo drink, buns and other snacks, urged them to ensure that the palliative was used for the purpose it was given.

Mrs Veronica Agu, one of the women empowered for the small business commended the union leadership for devising such idea and promised to start off the business in addition to her other business.

Mrs Obioma Okafor and Ngozi Anagor, beneficiaries of the economic empowerment said that the union has done well by the act of empowerment and educating them on the need to observe COVID-19 precautionary measures and starting a business for them .

 Other beneficiaries include women entrepreneurs, the indigent and the aged, who received cash gifts, bags of rice, among others.

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