By Chinedu Adonu
The Nigerian Red Cross Society, Enugu State Branch has said it provided humanitarian assistance to over 900,000 persons in Enugu State during the COVID-19 and Yellow Fever pandemic in the State.
The Chairman of the organization in Enugu State, Pharm. Michael Nwokolo who made this known to pressmen in Enugu, during the grand finale of 2021 World Red Cross Day disclosed that the group commended the over 13,000 Red Cross volunteers in the state for their relentless commitment in providing humanitarian need to vulnerable.
“This year, we are recognising the roles volunteers played in reaching and supporting people affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. This however served as a call to action for the over 13,000 volunteers of the Red Cross Society in Enugu State, that risk their lives to reach out to communities in the 17 local government areas of the state, to raise awareness on the preventive measures to curtail the spread of the virus.
“In the heat of the pandemic, the branch reached over, 500,000 persons with Covid-19 preventive messages, active case search as well as psychological support services for victims of the virus in the state. in addition, handwashing point we’re installed in public centers, market, school and church to promote the culture of proper washing of hands.
“Furthermore, as the state battle the yellow fever virus, our volunteers were at the forefront of Community and house to house sensitization in Igbo-Eze North, Nsukka, Igbo-Etiti, Enugu East local government area, where we reached over 80,000 household and 400,000 persons that benefitted from preventive messages, psychological support and relief materials”, He said.
Also speaking, the Executive Secretary of the group, Tony Udegbu disclosed that the celebration was to remind the world the need to be our brothers keeper and to encourage the volunteers to do more.
He lamented that the state government is making their job difficult by hiding information, adding that the Spirit of volunteering to support others has been too low in Nigeria.
“The challenge when we try to work, the government used to hide information for us. For, example, in our sychofiscial support programm, we are supposed to be talking to victims directly. Like the covid-19 victims and yellow fever which is domicile in the ministry of Health. And when you want to get the information because it’s a program to talk to people involved directly, they will be hiding the information.
“The major challenges is the spirit of volunteering which down this days. May be because of the nature of economy. A lot of people want to know how much you will be paying them before they volunteer. It’s a volunteer thing to make others benefit from you”, he said.