By: Simon Ushie.
Life they say is never fair,sometimes we don’t get what we bargained for and other times you end up being where we never imagined .
This is the story of these kids,popularly known as “Skolombo”, they represent a community of abandoned and neglected kids from families and loved ones who by no fault of theirs are sent into the street to fend for themselves thereby exposing them to various harms especially, at a time like this,making them vectors of various diseases.
It is on this note that the Cross River State government decided to embark on a street wise campaign to sensitize them on various ways of transmitting the covid19 virus,its signs and symptoms, preventive measures to adopt to remain safe,provision of welfare materials and the distribution of personal protective equipment.
Leading the team to various streets in Calabar where these kids dwell is the Director General ,Cross River State Primary Healthcare Development Agency,Dr Janet Ekpenyong ,who stated that the move was drawn from the philosophy and ideological leadership style of His Excellency Senator Profesaor Ben Ayade noting that all lives matters hence the need to engage the kids to sensitize them on ways of promoting good personal hygiene.
Dr Ekpenyong stated that with a geometrical progression in cases recorded on daily bases globally,the importance of sensitization cannot be over emphasized,noting that the state government has adopted various approaches to educating its citizens using both the traditional and contemporary media with messages on covid19 spread across the 18 Local government Areas of the state.
“We are here today to ensure that everyone is being carried along ,Our dear and passionate Governor, Senator Professor Ben Ayade has mandated that everyone in the streets of Cross River State must be on a mask and that is why we are here In the street to distribute mask to these special sets of kids so that you too can move freely without any form of restriction.
Our governor Senator Professor Ben Ayade has also asked us to come here and celebrate Easter with you people and to teach you ways in which you can protect yourselves from the deadly Corona Virus”.
Responding to a question earlier raised if the virus affects only the rich and influential in the society, Dr Ekpenyong said everyone stand at a risk of contracting the virus when exposed to patients already infected,hence the need for everyone to adhere strictly to guidelines by government and relevant authorities on ways of managing the virus which include regular washing of hands with soap under running water using soaps or ash,use of alcohol based hand sanitizers ,use of face mask among others.
Some of the kids who could not contained their joy,thanked the state government and the DG, for the gesture as they promised to continually make use of the facemask and improve in their personal hygiene routine.
Streets visited include Mary Slessor,Bogobir,Cultural centre axis among others.