ANAMBRA State Ministry of Information and Public Enlightenment (MOIPE) with support from UNICEF, has commenced sensitisation of women on COVID-19 pandemic prevention and containment.
The training, which commenced on Sunday, was part of UNICEF speaking sessions to educate women on the second wave of the virus that had been making round globally this period.
It was also aimed at alerting women on precautionary measures and healthy hygiene practices to adopt in order to prevent community infections from the disease during this yuletide season.
UNICEF Desk Officer, MOIPE, Chineze George-Ileka noted that the yuletide was usually marked by a lot of activities as well as an influx of people from within the country and in the Diaspora.
She urged women to keep watch on their families and ensure that they always wear face masks and observe other protocols of COVID-19 pandemic.
She highlighted most common symptoms of COVID-19 to include dry cough, high fever, difficulty in breathing and tiredness.
The less common symptoms include aches and pains, sore throat, diarrhoea, conjunctivitis, headache, loss of taste or smell and discolouration of fingers or toes.
Mrs George-Ileka stressed the need to quarantine oneself on noticing any of the symptoms and to do so to any family member that develops such symptoms for the safety of their entire family.
She listed other preventive measures against coronavirus to include respiratory hygiene that involved wearing of face masks to prevent droplets from other infected persons.
It also involved sneezing inside bent elbows or use of disposable tissue papers
.Other measures include hand hygiene that entailed avoidance of hand shaking and regular hand washing with soap under running water and use of alcohol based sanitisers, where soap and water were not immediately available.
It also involved cleaning and disinfecting easily touched surfaces and items like door handles, remotes and chairs.
She urged them to avoid crowded places and to observe social/physical distancing whenever they were at social gatherings.
Mrs George-Ileka also harped on the need for pregnant women to access health facilities for antenatal care instead of patronising quacks or traditional birth attendants.
“Nurses in the health centres are trained professionals and they can handle emergencies and other special cases like high blood pressure, prevention of mother to child transfer of HIV, baby health and weight control.’’
She maintained that immunisation of children and adults could help to check preventable diseases.
She added that breastfeeding babies exclusively for six months before introduction of other foods protect them from contracting diseases and infections, stressing that exclusive breastfeeding aided family planning.
She noted that a breastfeeding mother, who developed symptoms of COVID-19 could still breastfeed her baby provided she would wear face masks and observe other protocols and enjoined women to encourage their daughters, daughter in-laws and other women especially those of child bearing age to breastfeed their babies.
Mrs George-Ileka emphasised that personal hygiene helped to prevent both body and mouth odour, as well as promote good health and cordial relationship between couples. She demonstrated good mouth washing, using chewing stick and toothbrush, urging women to drink much water to prevent mouth odour.
She also demonstrated proper body washing, highlighting important parts to take cognisance of while bathing such as the back of the ear, joints and private parts.
Anambra State Hygiene and Sanitation Officer, Dr Rose Amasiani enjoined women to keep their homes and environment clean by avoiding open defecation and adopt proper method of feces disposal.
Dr Amasiani informed women that the Anambra Government had declared a state of emergency on open defecation, emphasising that anybody caught in the act would be duly exposed and penalised.
She stressed the need for every family to have a functional toilet system which should be cleaned regularly, saying that 90 per cent of our sickness was due to improper hygiene.
Communities that have been sensitised so far include Umuchu, Achina, Eziowelle and Abatete.
Woman leader, Umuchu Community, Mrs Chinwe Ofobuike commended UNICEF, government and the team for the sensitisation, assuring that they would carry out the training to protect their community.
Achina Woman Leader, Mrs Anthonia Ekwebele noted that the four quarters of the town were duly represented, expressing happiness that her town partook in the training.
Secretary, Eziowelle Women Group, Mrs Victoria Chukwunonyelu enjoined women to contribute to the development of the town and Anambra in general by avoiding open defecation.
Woman Leader, Abatete, Mrs Anthonia Obidike urged women to be good ambassadors of their various homes.
The sensitisation recorded massive turnout of women in the communities visited.