• UNICEF appoints Justice Nyesom-Wike as UNICEF Champion for risk communication and community engagement
Wife of the Rivers State Governor, Justice Eberechi Suzzette Nyesom-Wike has called on non-governmental organisations and public spirited individuals to emulate United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) by joining hands with Government at different levels to fight coronavirus.
Speaking at the Government House, Port Harcourt on Saturday, the Wife of the Rivers State Governor said such collaboration would lead to greater success.
She said: “I will also use this opportunity to encourage every other organization to emulate what we are doing today in the sense that we can set up so many more hand washing units in different parts of the public and even private centers.”
She thanked UNICEF for appointing her UNICEF Champion for risk communication and community engagement in the state.
She said: “I have noted the plan of action you have left. Going forward, what it is that I need to do is to support the plan and make sure by giving my word that I will do everything that I can within my power as God gives me grace to make sure it is a success. “
She said though it will not be easy, all stakeholders must work relentlessly to defeat COVID-19.
“There is no doubt that we are at war at this time and it is a relentless war. It is all consuming and very dangerous as we know , worse of all the coronalvirus is invisible.
“We are grateful that our casualties are not as bad as other areas. God has been gracious to us in Nigeria and especially in Rivers State.
“It is not going to be an easy task, first there will be need for behavioral change as you have mentioned,such as wearing face mask. It is a sacrifice that we all need to be involved in to keep us alive. We must abide.
“Of course, the hand washing aspect is also a very useful part of it and we use this opportunity to thank UNICEF for all the good works they have been doing in Rivers State.”
She said that the functions of UNICEF are critical to the fight against coronavirus.
“I thank you for choosing me as the champion and I will do my best like I have already said. Although it is seen to be really bad, but we always see it that there is always a silver lining in every cloud.
“So, some good have come out of it, I believe that Nigeria will be better after this,we are already seeing changes and we see the need to improve on our health sector.
“Also in our ways of living, communication is something that is key to arresting this situation.We have to create credible . We have in Rivers State a rapid response team that His Excellency set up to arrest any situation,” she said.
The Rivers Governor’s Wife called for more hand washing units in different communities.
“We see the need much more more than ever before for constant running water especially in rural areas where these facilities are not readily available. I thank you for taking the lead .
I also want to say that this experience has made us more appreciable of ourselves as people living together. I am sure that people who have not heard good families relationship are now mending fences, bonding better. They are beginning to understand themselves better because there is nowhere to go.
“We all need to put our hands on deck. It is not what we will leave to the government alone, everybody needs to have a role to play. If you can not make any provision for somebody else,do something for yourself, protect yourself by this hand washing , secure yourself and if you do that for yourself then you will be preventing the means of spreading the infection.”
She commended the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike for being proactive in tackling the pandemic. She said his initiative has helped in checking the spread of coronavirus.
The United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) , Representative, Dr Marie Modeste Yogo said that the organisation will continue to work with the Rivers State Government to check the spread of coronavirus.
He said: “We shall fight the COVID-19 war side by side with the Government and people of Rivers State to overcome the pandemic. “
The UNICEF Representative praised the Rivers State Governor for his strong leadership to check the spread of coronavirus.
“I commend the strong leadership provided by the Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike regarding overcoming the challenges of COVID-19 , ” he said.
He praised Justice Eberechi Suzzette Nyesom-Wike for accepting to be a UNICEF Champion for risk communication and community engagement in the state.
“We appreciate your acceptance to be the champion in the collective engagement of the people of Rivers State to stop the spread of coronavirus.
“We all need to put an end to the pandemic . UNICEF is supportive of Rivers State and its people. Looking at the scenario worldwide, communication is the way to go.
“That is why your acceptance to be the champion of risk communication and community engagement for COVID-19 will transform the lives of the people of Rivers State. It will demonstrate that you are a frontline foot soldier against COVID-19. “
He presented the plan of UNICEF to be rolled out across the State to prevent the spread of coronavirus in the State.
He said one of the strong elements of the fight is build strong partnerships to check the spread of coronavirus.
He said that UNICEF will invest in the ideas of women groups, youth groups and other interest groups in the state.
The UNICEF Representative urged the Wife of the Rivers State Governor to always encourage the vulnerable and poor that there hope.
Highpoint of the occasion was the symbolic display of hand washing by the Wife of the Rivers State Governor.
Atseyinku Emmanuel (9News Nigeria