The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) in collaboration with GreenLight Initiative has commenced training for 360 truck and ambulance drivers responsible for the transportation of medical supplies, patient, and logistics needed for COVID-19 management in Nigeria.
The training tagged “Safety Training for Truck and Ambulance Drivers during COVID-19” is bid to take place in Gombe, Kano, Lagos, Anambra, and Rivers states respectively within the duration of six months.
Speaking on Wednesday in Abuja at an occasion to flag-off the training, the Executive Director of Greenlight Initiative, Simon Obi regretted that truck and ambulance drivers involved in COVID-19 management in Nigeria were ill-trained and equipped due to lack of resources to train, retrain, and to provide them with personal protection equipment.
Obi explained: “Between May and June of 2020, a video of some ambulance team who tried to convey an alleged COVID-19 patient went viral because of the way the team poorly handled the patient without consideration to their personal safety”
“Incidence like this occurs daily and reflects the reality on ground in so many places within Nigeria. Similarly, many of these drivers operate without the knowledge of road safety, these has resulted to injuries, loss of lives, and damage to medical and logistics equipment needed for a functional health supply chain”
“The negative consequences of all these problems are spread across health commodity transportation and logistics challenges, unendurable workforce, lack of occupational safety practices and dangerous working environment.”
According to the director, the training will involve the provision of safety training for 360 trucks and Ambulances drivers who are responsible for the movement of hospitals supplies and COVID-19 logistics across in Nigeria.
He maintained that the training modules are designed to empower drivers and assist them with COVID-19 safety protocols, basic Infection prevention and control, basic first aid, appropriate and rationale use of personal protective equipment (PPE) as well as educate them on road safety measures.
Obi further explained that the training will enable drivers to protect themselves from contracting COVID-19, enforce and advocates for COVID-19 safety protocols as they deliver on their jobs and ensure that COVID-19 hospitals supplies and logistics are delivered to hospitals in a safe and timely manner.
In his remarks, FRSC Corps Marshal, Dr. Boboye Oyeyemi, who called for more measures to ensure the safety of Nigerians, noted that “We are too lucky that we are not facing the pandemic compared to first world countries who have good health facilities, nobody would have been able to tell what could have happened to Africa.
“That is why we need to train those who are making sure that the pandemic does not blow out of proportion.”