CAPIO COVID-19 Response
Corona Virus which started in Wuhan, has spread across the globe and this has greatly affected the Nigerian economy whose fiscal framework is highly dependent on proceeds from oil sales, this global pandemic has greatly exposed the inadequacies in Nigeria’s healthcare system. As of the 4th day of July 2020, there have been 28176 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Nigeria, while 11462 persons have been discharged, 634 confirmed deaths have also occurred. Recently, Bauchi Custodial Centre has 17 reported cases of COVID-19 in the facility. Inmates and Correctional Officers stand the risk of contracting the virus through the interaction of Correctional Officers with the society, poor sanitation, and contact with newly admitted inmates infested with COVID19 before transfer to custodial centers. In a bid to decongest the custodial centers, the Nigerian President, announced an amnesty program and reduction in intake of new inmates until a recent decision to create isolation centers for inmates in selected custodial centers in Nigeria was taken.
Having identified a gap, CAPIO designed an intervention aimed at increasing the capacity of the Correctional Officers to effectively detect and prevent the spread of the virus to and among inmates. The sensitization campaign was conducted on the 8th, 11th, and 12th of June, 2020 in Nsukka, Enugu, and Oji River Custodial Centres, respectively. A total of 196 Officers in attendance were addressed on various misconceptions, preventive measures and symptoms of the virus.
CAPIO with funding support from Misean Cara/Irish Aid procured Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) which was delivered on Thursday 11th June 2020 to FCT and Enugu State Command of Nigerian Correctional Service respectively, for effective downward distribution to custodial centers with State and FCT respectively.
Donated PPEs are as follows:
During the handover speech in Enugu, the Executive Director of CAPIO Rev. -Fr. Ambrose Ekereoku, OCD called on State Governors who are yet to embark on amnesty program to do so in line with the Presidential announcement, particularly for inmates awaiting trial, so as to curtail the spread of the virus. Coincidentally, on the same day, the Enugu State Governor, His Excellency, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi announced the pardon and release of twenty-five (25) deserving inmates in Enugu, Nsukka, and Oji River Correctional Centres.
CAPIO also used the handover process as an opportunity to call on both Federal and all State Government to include Correctional Service in their COVID-19 intervention plans, to forestall reoccurrence of Bauchi episode, noting that if the virus finds its way into custodial centers, it will be difficult to control. Therefore, preventive measures, remains the best and most effective ways of combatting the virus.
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