COVID-19: NLC to embark on awareness campaign against stigmatisation of victims

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), says it will embark on a nationwide education and awareness campaign to discourage the stigmatisation of workers and Nigerians, who are COVID-19 victims.

Mr Ayuba Wabba, NLC President, who disclosed this in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja, said this was necessary in order to avoid workplace infraction and injustice.

According to him, we are aware of the backlash of COVID-19 stigmatisation, the NLC will embark on a nationwide education and awareness campaign to discourage the stigmatisation of workers and vitims of COVID-19.

“We urge every Nigerian to treat COVID-19 survivors as heroes and heroines. Such noble gesture would encourage infected cases to boldly come forward knowing that they would not be stigmatized.

“This kind of response is crucial in preventing a second wave of COVID-19  in Nigeria. We need all hands to be on deck in this regard, ” he said.

Wabba said that efforts at COVID-19 testing, contact tracing, public fumigation, environmental sanitation and robust public health education should be expanded and intensified.

He added that, in the course of the gradual relaxation of the lockdown, it is important that individual citizens and corporate organisations have both personal and collective responsibility to adhere to all health guidelines.

“We call on the leadership of our industrial unions and the state councils to continue working with the different cadres of workers’ leadership in the states and unions to ensure that health and safety facilities and guidelines are followed.

“Such as running water, soaps, hand sanitizers, use of protective masks and social distancing are made available and enforced at different workplaces.

“We encourage workers not to hesitate to contact the National Secretariat of NLC in the event of any COVID-19 related work place infraction, injustice, negligence and gender-based discrimination, ”Wabba added.

He however, added that in spite of the challenge posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, we are deeply enamored by the bravery and resourcefulness of our health care professionals,  who have put their lives on the line to contain the spread of the virus.

“In spite of the relative deficit of material resources at their disposal, they have arguably recorded some of the best recovery rates in the world.

“We are immensely proud of the love, faith, courage, and sacrifice demonstrated by our frontline heroes and heroines who have certainly given more than the demand of the call of duty.

“Our gallant frontline workers have served and continue to serve as the resolute buffer between COVID-19 and mass infections cum deaths.

“We will forever be in the debt of thousands of our courageous healthcare workers, transport workers, utility employees, journalists and workers in the informal sector who have continued to show up at their duty posts despite the stare of death, dearth of working tools and paucity of gratitude.

“We condole with the families of workers who have paid the supreme sacrifice in the fight against COVID-19. We assure you that their labours will not be in vain,” he said.

The NLC president commended the Federal Government for the insurance cover and enhanced incentives provided for frontline health workers, while urging states to do same.(NAN)

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