By Gilbert Ekezie

As the third wave of COVID-19 affects the global health, and economic community, President of Catholic Women Organisation Nigeria (CWON), Dame Mary Ashibi Gonsum, has engaged Catholic women leaders across the nine provinces and fifty-five dioceses of the Catholic Church in Nigeria, as part of the concerted efforts to reverse the trend of the pandemic.

Speaking at end of the CWON’s National Conference in Jos, Plateau State on Sunday, Gonsum urged the respective Provincial and Diocesan Presidents of the organisation, nationwide, to engage in sensitisation programmes, at the provincial, diocesan, deanery, and parish levels, to curtail the spread of the third wave of the coronavirus.

‘The fear of COVID-19 third wave is the beginning of wisdom. The rate of infection is again on the increase. We need to do everything necessary to stay away from getting infected. As leaders, we have to constantly be in touch with our leaders at the diocesan, deanery and parish levels, to ensure they sensitise their members on the third wave of the virus, and the need to stay safe.

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‘The guidelines are simple. We expect our members not to relent in wearing face masks, washing their hands, using hand sanitisers, maintaining social distancing, among other measures, not only at meetings but wherever they are at any time. They should ensure that their families do likewise.

‘The national, provincial and diocesan presidents should therefore mobilise, sensitise and convince our leaders, and members, at all levels, especially, at the Parishes, to maintain COVID-19 protocols and other public health interventions, such as COVID-19 risk education, prevention, presenting themselves for COVID-19 testing, when necessary, and take-up of a vaccination,’ Dame Gonsum stated.

Noting that while some people do have valid fears and questions regarding the efficacy and safety of the vaccine, the CWON President advised the women to be careful about misinformation, but rather, look out for objective facts, and take the vaccine.

On a final note, Gonsum prayed for recovery for those affected by the virus, as well as the health workers and other professionals, on the front lines of the unexpected battle. Reminding the women that God is in control. ‘We believe God is our healer, and He never fails. I’m confident that we will live and see the goodness of the Lord, at the end of this pandemic.’