call on FG to do more to contain spread
By Gabriel Ewepu
ABUJA-WOMEN under the auspices of Virtuous Women and Youth Empowerment Initiative, VWYEI, has expressed worry over a lack of vaccine and laboratory to contain the spread of Monkey Pox virus disease across the country.
The National Coordinator, VWYEI, Mrs Esther Akwo, made the statement while assessing the level of awareness created about the disease so far.
According to Akwo with this situation many lives are in danger of contracting the disease if pragmatic steps were not taken to contain it.
She said: “We the women in this country are troubled with the spread of the Monkey Pox virus disease after breaking out in Bayelsa State, and now has spread to over six states in the country.
“We are worried because last week the National Centre For Disease Control, NCDC, said there is no specific vaccine for the monkey pox virus, which was stated by its National Coordinator, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, and he also said there was no diagnostic laboratory in the country to ascertain the exact name of the disease.
“This is indeed a dilemma for us as mothers and people of this country. The federal government should do more in collaboration with state ministries of health, women and youth affairs, and also partner civil society organisations along with community based organisations to create the awareness on preventive measures that could contain the spread of the disease.”
She also said the government should set up a situation room for coordination and dissemination of information about the disease to avoid all sorts of rumours that put Nigerians under panic, rather than restore confidence of the people to also report any case in their communities.
Meanwhile, stating their position on marking of the 2017 UN International Day of Rural Women, with the theme, ‘Challenges and Opportunities in Climate-Resilient Agriculture for Gender Equality and Empowerment of Rural Women and Girls’ she said women are yet to be accorded with the due recognition for their role in feeding the nation and world at large with food.
“We are proud to feed the nation as mothers and women because we are the largest population in the agricultural sector.
“Despite many factors militating against us we have remained resilient and determined not to see our people go hungry. But we want the government, traditional rulers and development partners to ensure that access to land for our farming activities is made easy for us because that has been a major challenge to us in the sector, and has really slowed us down.
“The next demand is access to finance and low interest rates along with soft conditions attached to loans. We commend the International Fund for Agricultural Development, IFAD, through The Rural Finance Institution Building Programme, RUFIN, for assisting and impacting rural women. We want more of such intervention programmes to come on stream.
“Then we want government to seriously handle insecurity on our farms, especially from attacks carried out by some suspected herdsmen, who also rape our women and kill their husbands”, she stated.