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Nigeria Govt Launches Social Behavioural Change Campaign

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Nigeria has launched the National Social Behaviour Change Campaign as part of the efforts to prevent and contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The campaign tagged the Powerful H.A.N.D.S is a joint collaboration between the Federal Government and the United Nations in Nigeria with funding from the European Union (EU).

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H.A.N.D.S-is expected to stimulate collective actions to prevent further spread of COVID-19 in Nigeria. The campaign is being implemented through the Centre for Communication and Social Impact (CCSI), an indigenous SBC organisation with technical support from the United Nations Children’s Funds (UNICEF).

The nationwide campaign will entail mass media, digital media (also suitable for visually and hearing-impaired) and targeted community/school engagement activities in six states of Lagos, Oyo, Kano, Kaduna, Plateau, Rivers and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). CCSI will be collaborating with the Risk Communication and Community Engagement (RCCE) pillars in the target states to engage prominent stakeholders in two hot spot LGAs to promote the key behaviours of the campaign to prevent further transmission of the COVID-19. The campaign is also featuring a unique Super Hero, “Captain Bubbles” for young children to promote the habit of handwashing and other key hygiene practices with an animated video and theme song.

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The goal of the four-month, UNICEF-funded campaign is to increase the number of Nigerians who believe in and practise COVID-19 preventive behaviours, while communicating the main message that “The power to stop COVID-19 is in our H.A.N.D.S.”

The United Nation’s Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, Mr Edward Kallon said: “The UN remains committed to working closely with the government and the people of Nigeria to end the COVID-19 pandemic through evidence-based, innovative and effective interventions such as the H.A.N.D.S campaign.

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“There is no better time than now to empower and encourage people to sustain the practice of preventive behaviours to protect themselves and loved ones from the scourge of COVID-19. We are optimistic that this campaign will rekindle families, friends and children’s efforts to contain the transmission of COVID19. “

The Director-General, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu has warned against complacency.

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He said Nigerians cannot afford to be complacent as the virus is still around and hence the need to adhere strictly to the COVID-19 protocols such as H.A.N.D.S.

He added that other measures such as travel bans and restrictions have been put in place to prevent the third wave from happening.

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He said it is in the hands of every Nigerian to protect themselves by observing the social behavioural change.

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