On 21st March 2020, the Oyo state government announced its first case of covid-19 (www.premiumtimesng.com/news/headlines/383148-coronavirus-oyo-confirms-first-case-as-nigerias-total-increases.html), in turn, the community university (LAUTECH) shutdown, banks closed, public servants were ordered to work from home, yet, Ogbomoso remained aloof.
It was not until I spoke to Iya Ajoke, a popular petty trader, that I got a perfect understanding of their actions. She started brilliantly with a local adage akii fi ejo sori orule sun translated to " One does not go to bed while a snake is on the roof ". Standing akimbo, as her hands relaxed on her hip, she stated how she has been single-handedly taking care of her 5 kids the past six years - from her daily sales adding that no virus can be greater than poverty and hunger. She did not hesitate to point to the community pharmacy right behind her shop, stressing that the cost of purchasing hand sanitizers and face masks for her and her kids will rather make do for a years' worth of feeding.
More than the words, emotions and mulish will to survive, what struck me hardest was the harsh reality they woke up to everyday regardless of covid-19. For Iya Ajoke and many others in the Ogbomoso community, death is not a stranger.
The incidence of Covid-19 has seen binge purchases, hike in prices, exposure of the inefficient healthcare system, and reluctance of the government towards combating its spread. This has left the poor and vulnerable looking up to the skies for help, even worse, the elderly who are tagged high-risked as in the case of Ogbomoso where Average income is $50, average age 50 and average family size 6.
The above informs my will for this project, having in mind that most Nigerians have an underlying health condition, of which most are not aware of.
This project aims to provide food palliatives and medical information to 100 aged (60+) persons in Ogbmoso, due to the economic hardship caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
1. Food palliatives - We will be supporting 100 (60+) aged persons in Ogbomoso with a month worth of food items, to help them ease the financial pressure and loss of livelihood imposed on them by the coronavirus pandemic.
2. Information - In collaboration with the NCDC information center, we will be providing 60 households in Ogbomoso with the NCDC Covid-19 guide written in Yoruba (Local language spoken by 95% of the Ogbomoso community), while also admonishing them to keep the radio closer to their ears and read the Iroyin even more (Local newspaper). A one-on-one orientation exercise will also be employed with each family - putting concepts as, social distancing, self-isolation, quarantining into context for them, so that they can fully understand the reality of covid-19 and what/what not to do. We will also educate them on the symptoms of the infection, and next steps in the case of a suspected carrier - they will be empowered with the designated government toll line , State and national alike.
3. Intermediary Point: We will also be acting as an intermediary point/information exchange mechanism between government, NCDC and residents of Ogbomoso. Updating the government and in turn giving the people updates from the government. Ogbomoso residents are majorly uneducated and can hardly understand policy briefs, speeches, NCDC stats and the like, We fill in this gap, translating and denudating this data to them, in a way that they feel a need to be a part of fight, with the understanding that it can be only won through a collective effort.