Worried that Abuja residents are living in self-denial about the dangers of the covid-19 virus and not taking protective measures, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Malam Mohammad
Bello has decided to employ new communication strategies, working with the National Orientation Agency (NOA) and the FCT Ministerial Advisory Committee on COVID-19.
The trio are to draw up strategies for the implementation of new sensitisation and awareness campaigns in the fight against the pandemic in Abuja.
At the meeting chaired by Bello were Director General of the NOA and the Chairman, FCT Ministerial Advisory Committee on COVID-19, Dr Aliyu Modibbo Umar Friday, June 26, 2020.
Addressing the press after the meeting, the FCT Minister said that the earlier partnership with the organized private sector coordinated by the Ministerial Expert Advisory Committee saw the FCT waging a largely successful campaign against COVID’ 19 with the provision and deployment of adequate bed spaces, palliatives, medical supplies and equipment and personnel.
In the words of the Minister, “this partnership is aimed at re-invigorating the FCTA’s community communication strategies in the bid to save lives and livelihoods”.
It was therefore agreed at the meeting that an ad-hoc committee be established to work out new communication strategies to be deployed in this next phase of the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
This Committee will be co-chaired by the DG NOA and Chairman of the Ministerial Expert Advisory Committee and consist of members drawn from the FCTA, the NOA and the Advisory Committee.
In his comments, the NOA DG Dr Garba Abari, said that the meeting further brought to the fore the robust partnership between the FCTA and the private sector in the fight against the coronavirus.
He said the new sensitisation strategy to be tentatively known as the COVID-19 New Normal FCT Response intends to go beyond just creating awareness but to begin the process of behavior modification and change of the citizenry. This new strategy he continued is intended to ensure that citizens take personal responsibility for their health.
The NOA, DR Abari added, had the experience and expertise to take the new message to the streets, neighborhood, places of worship and traditional institutions and also create an awareness on the nexus that exists between the containment of the disease and personal responsibility. He also said that the NOA possessed the necessary expertise and experience to spread the new message.
In his Comments Dr Aliyu Modibbo Umar said that it was necessary to come up with a coherent communication strategy to reach the people as many of them were not obeying the basic guidelines and protocols put in place by the relevant authorities to prevent the spread of COVI’19.