By Abujah Racheal
Abuja, Oct. 12, 2020 The Nigeria Centre For Disease Control (NCDC) has said that it is supporting and providing a public health guidance for safe reopening of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) camps across the country.
Mrs Elsie Ilori, the Head of Department, Surveillance and Epidemiology Department, NCDC, said this on Monday in Abuja at the joint Presidential Tasks Force Briefing on COVID-19.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Federal Government has disclosed that NYSC orientation camps will reopen on Nov. 10, 2020.
Ilori said that the agency was working with the NYSC to ensure the safety of our youth and communities as they resume activities across the country in various camps.
Ilori said that COVID-19 had caused a lot of disruptions in most of the country’s activities and no one anticipated that this would happen.
“We had all planned and made preparations, our young ones had planned but unfortunately it did not happen because of COVID-19 which came and disrupted most things.
“We have been working with the Ministry of Youths and Sports through the NYSC to put in place and strengthen the infection, prevention and control capacity of the NYSC camps.
“Beyond this, we are going to support the NYSC camps with authorities to ensure prompt identification of COVID-19 cases for treatment,” she said.
She said that the key measure NCDC put in place was the use of Rapid Diagnosis test for screening corps members as they arrive in camp.
She noted that the tests were approved for use in specific settings by the World Health Organisation (WHO), and it would be beneficial for the identification of COVID-19 cases for treatment given their high sensitivity and specificity.
“We’ve also a self-reporting form the Corps members will fill before they go to camps.
“The form will enable them to give their details ahead of resumption and this will give us a seamless process for sample collection.
“Every Corps member must fill this form before resuming. It is online.
“To make the process easier we are going to provide step-by-step guide on how to go about this as well as the guideline to stay safe while in camp.
“All of this we are doing in collaboration with the NYSC officials.
“Each NYSC camp will have what is known as the IPC Vanguards; they will help to monitor compliance with the COVID-19 preventive measures to significantly lower the risk of infection,” she explained.
She disclosed that the agency would also be using NYSC communication channels including the NYSC radio stations to amplify the efforts in each state as well as to sensitive the public and the NSYC community to what was being done.
“Last week, we carried out the risk assessment for the camp in Abuja and that has helped us to look at the gaps and guidelines we have set up.
“And that has helped to find risk assessment tools and this will be rolled out across the country this week.
“This tool will be used by states’ NYSC and surveillance teams to evaluate the potential risks,” she noted.
She, however, asked for co-operation by all Corps members and adherence to IPC measures for their safety and those of their loved ones.
“To ensure the safe reopening of camps, it is important that we work collectively; of course the government cannot do it alone.
“It is a collective measure and collective action. We have to exercise collective responsibility,” she said.