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This photo taken on January 28, 2018 shows the African Union (AU) headquarters in Addis Ababa during the opening of the Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government for the 30th annual African Union summit. / AFP PHOTO / SIMON MAINA (Photo credit should read SIMON MAINA/AFP via Getty Images)

The African Union (AU) Economic, Social and Cultural Council (ECOSOCC), has called for collaboration between civil society organisations (CSOs) and indigenous companies aimed at tackling the coronavirus pandemic.

Dr Tunji Asaolu, 1st Nigerian Representative of the AU-ECOSOCC Nigeria, gave the advice in a statement on Saturday.

Asaolu released the statement against the backdrop of the outcome of the situation room on the fight against the pandemic.

ECOSOCC is an advisory body of the AU, set up to give civil society organisations a voice within AU institutions and decision-making processes.

He said that Mr Dennis Kodhe, Presiding Officer of the 3rd Permanent General Assembly of AU-AU ECOSOCC, had called for coordination and mobilisation of CSOs to contain the spread of the pandemic.

“There is the need to work closely with CSOs and relevant stakeholders in the fight against COVID-19.

“There is also need to support African home grown medication for the treatment of COVID-19 infected patients.

“Africa must take this opportunity to start looking inward as a continent whose development is people-driven and which relies on potential of the African people to become united and an influential player in the global arena.”

Asaolu added that concerted efforts could not be under estimated as the situation room would not just drum specific solutions for Nigeria to tackle post-COVID-19 challenges but promote such cause.

According to him, Pastor Osamede Ekhator of the Living Proof Chemicals/Pharmaceuticals Industry Ltd, has reiterated calls for African home grown medication for the treatment of persons infected with COVID-19.

“Our company has experts with requisite skills and competence to treat COVID-19 infected patients, if relevant medical and pharmaceutical regulatory agencies give us a trial test of drugs to stop COVID-19,” he said.

He also said that Mr Chris Anonre had urged government at all levels to explore agricultural revolution in dealing with the psychological impact of COVID-19 to forestall hunger.

Meanwhile, Mr Opeyemi Aderinto, Executive Director of African Centre for Human Advancement, Social and Community Development has urged governments to invest more on screening and testing of people to help tackle the pandemic.

“Governments must increase capacity of screening, testing, and tracing of COVID-19 patients to avoid impending dangers,” he said.

He quoted Mr Carly Ikpe, Media and Youth Advocate as calling for strategic measures to tackle crime occasioned by job lose and the global financial meltdown in the aftermath of COVID-19.

 

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