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Catholic Women in Nigeria Embark on Programs to Combat Deadly COVID-19 Pandemic

Mary Ashibi Gonsum, President of the Catholic Women Organization Nigeria (CWON). Credit: Agenzia Fides

The leadership of the Catholic Women Organization Nigeria (CWON) is mobilizing leaders of the entity to help Nigerian authorities contain the third wave of COVID-19 in the country.

Mary Ashibi Gonsum, President of the Catholic women organization says in a report by Agenzia Fides that apart from sensitizing masses to observe basic safety guidelines, there is a need to encourage the people to get vaccinated, noting that rates of infection in the country have skyrocketed.

“The infection rate is rising again. We must do whatever is necessary to avoid getting infected. We must be in constant contact with our leaders at the Diocesan, Deanery and Parish level to make sure they are educating their members about the third wave of the virus and the need to stay safe”, Ms. Ashibi says.

She adds, “The guidelines are simple; we expect our members to continue to wear face masks, wash their hands, use disinfectants, keep social distance, not just during meetings, but wherever they are at all times. They must ensure that their families do the same.”

In the August 2 report, the CWON official underscores the need for national, provincial and Diocesan presidents to mobilize, to raise awareness and convince people, especially in Parishes, to maintain COVID-19 protocols.

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There is also a need for the Church to raise awareness on various public health interventions such as education on the risk of infection, presentation for testing if necessary and acceptance of vaccination, Ms. Ashibi says.

COVID-19 infections in Nigeria have been on the rise since the beginning of July when the country registered 40 infections on July 2, up from zero cases on June 30.

The Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) reports that as many as 407 new cases of COVID-19 infections were registered on August 1, as doctors resumed the national strike indefinitely. The cases rose to 505 on August 3.

Meanwhile, 4.8 million doses of Moderna vaccine donated by the U.S. government are on their way to the West African country.

In the August 2 Agenzia Fides report, Ms. Ashibi addresses the fears of those who she says do not want to get vaccinated and the legitimate questions about the efficacy and safety of the vaccine, and goes ahead to advise women to beware of misinformation by seeking objective information instead, and to seek advice and “to rush to receive the vaccine.”

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In her prayer for the recovery of those affected by COVID-19 and the end of the coronavirus, the President of Catholic women in Nigeria says, “We believe that God is our Savior and that He never fails. I am confident that we will live and see the goodness of the Lord at the end of this pandemic.”