The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has joined the campaign to curb the spread of the coronavirus by providing some intervention materials.
The materials included sanitisers, handbills and posters as well as jingles aimed at sensitising Nigerians on the pandemic.
The News Agency of Nigeria, (NAN) reports that ASUU National President, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, flagged off the distribution of the materials in Ibadan on Tuesday.
Ogunyemi, who was represented by Dr Ade Adejumo, the Zonal Coordinator of ASUU, commended the University of Ibadan chapter of ASUU for blazing the trail in activating the union’s programme toward stemming the tide of the dreaded coronavirus.
” To demonstrate our concern for the welfare and well-being of the Nigerian people, ASUU members nationwide shall be willing to work with medical and paramedical workers as volunteers in their public enlightenment and professional intervention initiatives.
“All our branches shall explore areas of strategic collaboration with federal, state and local governments to provide support in terms of information and expert skills drawn from our membership across the nation.
“For us in ASUU, this is not an occasion for blame game or buck-passing. However, it calls for sober reflection on what we need to do differently with our health and education.
“We talk of our health because that holds the key to our wealth, and our education because, without it, we are going nowhere in the advancement ladder among the comity of civilised nations,” he said.
In his address, the Chairman of University of Ibadan chapter of ASUU, Prof. Ayo Akinwole, said curbing the spread of the disease called for the patriotism of all Nigerians.
“This is a huge task and calls for patriotism among Nigerians to stay isolated, stay safe and report people with the symptoms associated with COVID-19 to the authorities.
“The federal and state governments need a command structure to be able to stem the tide of this global problem in our country.
“This structure should include teams of researchers, scholars and medical scientists, not groups dominated by bureaucrats and politicians.
“The governments need to get input from the Committee of Chief Medical Directors at both the state and federal government levels.
“These people can provide an objective state of readiness of isolation centres in each hospital, state responses and their state capacity to cope.
“All universities have epidemiologists who should play critical roles in the fight against COVID-19.
“Data from these experts will give the required pathways for speedily arresting the pandemic,” he said.
In his remarks, the Chairman of the University of Ilorin ASUU, Prof. Moyosore Ajao, urged members of the public to adhere to safety protocols of handwashing with soap for 30 seconds and use of hand sanitisers.
According to Ajao, the use of nose mask sold on the road is not effective against COVID-19 while maintaining social distancing and staying home are the ways to go.
NAN reports that the intervention materials included 1000 bottles of hand sanitizer produced by members of the union who are experts.
Other items are 500 copies of posters and handbills printed in Yoruba, Hausa, Igbo, English and Pidgin.
NAN also reports that the event featured the presentation of the items to some media organisations, Jaja Clinic of the University of Ibadan and University College Hospital.