The Centre for Information Technology and Development, CITAD, in collaboration with MacArthur Foundation, has launched a two-day training for eighteen youths from Northern Nigeria on awareness campaign against misconceptions on COVID-19.
Speaking at the launching of the training in Kano state on Monday, Executive Director of CITAD, Zakari Ya’u, said the training became imperative in a bid to fight misinformation and disinformation against COVID-19 vaccine and vaccination.
According to him, the only way to fight the pandemic is to get everybody vaccinated, noting that misinformation and disinformation surrounding the vaccine was what discouraged people from taking the jabs.
Mr Ya’u noted that the centre had noticed the level of disbelief and mistrust against the vaccine, that is why it conducted research on how to come up with strategies to counter the misconceptions.
The strategies, according to Mr Ya’u, include awareness campaigns on radio stations in some northern states.
The executive director explained that 98 candidates applied for the training, but only 18 were selected across Kano, Kaduna, Bauchi, Kogi, Plateau and Borno states.
He said: “We carefully selected the candidates after following due process. They are here in Kano state for a two-day training for campaign against misconceptions about COVID-19 vaccine.
“People have called on the government to give them palliative to accept the vaccination. This is not a good point. The point is that, you have to be healthy if you want to agitate for your right.
“We have to get everybody vaccinated if we want fight this pandemic to the end. Let everybody get vaccinated. But the level of mistrust and misconceptions is too high. That is why we have come with this strategy,” he added.
Mr Ya’u said after the training, the participants would engage in massive campaigns for the vaccine in their respective states, adding that they would be given some stipends every end of the month for a period of one year.
While charging the participants to discharge their duties diligently, Mr Ya’u also announced that there would be competition as part of the awareness campaign and winners would get handsome gifts.