Palliative anywhere in the world is intended to make the effects of a problem less severe even if it does not actually solve the entire problem.
In other words, its intent is to improve quality of life since it relieves the physical, psychosocial and spiritual suffering due to ailments or other severe impacts on the society.
A palliative can be given in homes, health centres, hospitals, and hospices.
In fact palliatives, if properly handled, benefit health system by reducing unnecessary hospital admissions.
The Coronavirus, popularly known as COVID-19, is an infectious disease caused by different strains of coranavirus first discovered in Wuhan, the Hubei region of China.
The disease was first referred to as 2019-n cov. The COVID-19 virus is linked to the same family of viruses such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). It is also said to be related to some types of communication cold.
More so, the virus is transmitted through direct contact with respiratory droplet of an infected person generated through coughing and sneezing, while individuals can also be infected from touching surfaces contaminated by the virus and touching their faces, nose, and mouth as well the COVID-19 virus may survive on surfaces for several hours. However, simple disinfection or use of alcohol based sanitizers can kill it.
In Nigeria, in a bid to slow the rate of spread of the dreaded virus, the federal government on several occasions imposed targeted lockdown and other measures restricting movements in areas with rapid increase of COVID-19 cases.
Some of the states in which the federal government has imposed the targeted lockdown included Lagos, Ogun and Abuja.
In the same vein, some states in the country, including Katsina, swiftly imposed partial lockdown and closure of interstate boarders to slow the Coronavirus transmission from person to person and limit interstate transmission of the virus.
More interestingly, as a way of cushioning the effects of the lockdown Katsina State, government rolled out palliative measures for targeted groups across the 34 local government areas in the state.
Governor Aminu Bello Masari, who flagged off the distribution of the palliative in August last year, said over 67, 000 vulnerable households across the state were selected in the first phase of food palliative distribution.
Each of the beneficiaries received a minimum of 10kg of maize, 10kg of Rice, 5kg of sugar, 1kg of salt, 1carton of superhero, and 2 cartons of imdomie noodles.
Even though the palliatives was donated to Katsina State by private sector Coalition against COVID-19, CACOVID, Governor Aminu Bello Masari assured that all necessary arrangements were in place to ensure that food items reached the targeted vulnerable families in the state.
In fact, Governor Masari headed the committee himself as away to indicated his seriousness on palliative distribution. The Governor equally constituted similar distribution committee across the 34 local governments areas for fairness and equitable distribution at the grassroots levels the state.
The state Deputy Governor, QS Mannir Yakubu seats on the committee as the co-chairman.
The committee was divided into three senatorial districts, with Alhaji Muntari Lawal heading the Katsina zone and the Speaker of the Katsina State House of Assembly heading the Daura Senatorial zone.
The Deputy Speaker Katsina State House of Assembly, Engr Dalhatu Tafoki is heading the Funtua Senatorial zone.
The committees were constituted from the state level to local governments, to ward, and polling unit levels in order to make a hitch-free and fair distribution across the state without any form of discrimination.
During the flag off of the distribution, the co-chairman and the Deputy Governor, QS Mannir Yakubu explained that the robust implementation committee had its membership drawn from relevant government agencies, community leaders, civil society, and faith based organizations, local government as well as from members of the state house of Assembly.
The Deputy Governor added that they were constituted to undertake the distribution of the food relief items in order to reach the desired people, thereby ensuring that there was no diversion of the food palliatives.
To this end, the second round of the distribution of the palliative was conducted by the Speaker of the Katsina House of Assembly, Hon. Tasiu Musa Maigari, precisely in November 2020.
The palliative was provided by the National Emergency Management Agencies (NEMA).
The commodities donated by the agency, which included maize, sorghum, and millet were handsomely distributed to the targeted beneficiaries in the state.
The speaker equally distributed the recently donated CACOVID palliative, which was over 13,000 kilograms of rice, maize, and flour, 20, 000 cartoons of instant noodles, sugar, and salt in Daura zone.
While distributing the the commodities in Baure Local Government Area, he ensured that the items were distributed to the wards of the zone for the subsequent presentation at polling units.
Hon. Maigari had emphasised that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) led administration is committed to executing series of empowerment programmes, citing the monthly conditional cash transfers as one of the programmes of the Governor Masari administration.
He recalled that in its 2021 budgeting provision, the state government proposed various capital projects for the overall benefits of the electorate, saying the legislative arm is always willing to support the executive arms for more development in the state generally.
Records indicated that so far, over 2, 211 most vulnerable households have enjoyed support, with reasonable commodities from donation to Victims Support Funds launched by the state.
This made it possible for each of the beneficiaries received 10kg of rice, 10kg of maize, 10kg of beans, a gallon of cooking oil, and 1kg of salt, besides the allocation of personal protection essentials to medical workers, in addition to the provision of several hygiene products for use in isolation centres and other public places, purposely to curtail the spread of the deadly virus.
Consequently, lives of residents of the state, irrespective of gender, creed of political affiliation, are being impacted positively as adequate food palliatives, personal protective equipment and conditional cash transfers were deployed by the Katsina State government to proactively slow down the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and sustain the livelihood of the most vulnerable households in the state.
So far, there have been third and fourth round of the food palliative distribution across the three Senatorial Districts in the state, aside other government intervention to make life meaningful for the residents.