The Director-General, National Youth Service Corps, Major General Shuaibu Ibrahim has commended Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) for its support for the Scheme which resulted to the re-opening of Orientation Camps across the country after the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic in the country.
The NYSC Chief Executive gave this commendation when he paid a courtesy visit to the NCDC Director-General, Dr Ifedayo Adetifa in his office in Abuja.
General Ibrahim said the RDT test, freely made available to Prospective Corps Members was one of the best methods of detecting and reducing the spread of COVID-19.
“We are grateful for the RDT test you provided for us; and I want to assure you of our continuous collaboration. On behalf of the Management, Staff and Corps Members nationwide, please accept our appreciation for all you have been doing for us”, Ibrahim said.
The DG disclosed that the Scheme has been providing free health services to the indigent rural populace through the scheme known as Health Initiative for Rural Dwellers programme (HIRD).
He further revealed that reports emanating from the free medical programme assist government in tracking the prevalence of ailments in a particular area, and in the same vein taking adequate preventive measures.
In his remarks, the NCDC Director-General, Dr Adetifa said, “whatever happens in the NYSC Orientation Camps in respect of COVID-19 is a sample reflection of what is happening in the Corps Members’ States of residence”.
He commended the NYSC/NCDC collaboration, describing it as a good template and remarkable achievement for the country.
“Kudos to NYSC and NCDC teams for the excellent work”, Adetifa said.
In her presentation, the NCDC/NYSC Team Lead, Dr Ladun Okunromade stated that the collaboration between the NYSC and NCDC facilitated the safe re-opening of NYSC Orientation Camps across the country.
She listed the measures adopted before the re-opening to include effective guidelines on NYSC Orientation activities, webinar interaction with Prospective Corps Members on COVID-19 preventive measures, formation of COVID-19 Vanguards within the camp environment, formation of surveillance teams among Corps Members, mandatory RDT screening for all Camp participants among others.
“Since the commencement of the NYSC Project in 2020, the Orientation has been going on without any interruption. So far, we have completed nineteen streams and we have reduced the number of Corps Members per batch and per camp.
We used NYSC to validate the RDT, and it was used generally across the country” Okunromade said.
She further stated that the measures adopted for the safe re-opening of Orientation camps anchored on social distancing inside the hostels, lecture halls and other strategic places in the Orientation Camps.
She said since the reopening of Orientation Camps, the NCDC Teams had screened about five hundred thousand Corps Members with no single fatality.
Okunromade added that the guidelines were reviewed based on global best practices as a result of new variants, and that saw the incorporation of COVID-19 vaccination for all Prospective Corps Members.