Thursday 9 April 2020

CODIV-19 PALLIATIVES: We Can Not All be Vulnerable

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By Oladimeji Lasore

When Giving Becomes Counterproductive
by KakakiOodua Media Services

The State of Osun will from today Thursday 9th April, 2020 start relief food distribution to many of her poor citizens who are affected by the lockdown as a measure to contain the COVID-19 outbreak in the state.

Governor Gboyega Oyetola has flagged off the food distribution and total of 6,020 bags of 50kg rice are to be distributed to the NEEDY across the State, through door-to-door apolitical channels. Units shall be used as distribution channels and that the distribution of palliatives to the people of Osun is to mitigate the effects of the ongoing 14-day Sit-at-Home Order, imposed to contain the spread of the dreaded Coronavirus disease in the State as many vulnerable residents begin to run out of food and money.

In my view the NEEDY at this crucial time should start from the elderly, sickly, lactating mothers and those who mainly depend on daily income.

A network of volunteers have commenced distribution of food aid to all those in need during the coronavirus lockdown.

Rt. Hon. Timothy Owoeye recently distributed food items to residents of Ilesa East Local Government to cushion the effect of the lockdown.

Earlier, some good hearted people have also distributed palliatives as moves to support those most in need and we have seen cases where the moves have been counterproductive and misconstrued. We have we cases where some nigerians reacted with ingratitude.

Two cases rightly came to my mind, one, when a good Samaritan gave some Lagosians free food as lockdown persists and some of the beneficiaries reacted with ingratitude. The second experience came from my immediate community when Rt. Hon. Timothy Owoeye distributed palliatives.

My community of about 400 Households received two bags of 50kg rice and the community leaders decided to share the bags to every one of the houses. Imagine sharing 100kg worth of rice into 400 places. Alas! but the donor meant the gesture for the vulnerable of the community and not everyone.

I think that the vulnerables are those who cannot leave their homes because of severe health conditions, therefore cannot at all fend for themselves. This group are most of the time minorities and mentione can be made of children, aged without source of income (not retirees),persons suffering from dementia, persons and persons with disabilities and strangers.

Also a person who is 18 years of age or over, and who is or may be in need of community care services by reason of mental or other disability, age or illness and who is or may be unable to take care of him/herself, or unable to protect him/herself.

Some synonyms of vulnerability are, defencelessness,fragility, unprotectedness and assailability.

It is my opinion that if the palliatives coming from the State of Osun government today (i.e. 2 bags of 50kg rice per polling unit) is to be shared by all and not considering the vulnerables specially, an unintended consequence may be the result.

The receipt of social services of this type may carry a stigma as it tends to be concerned disproportionately with people of low status, and we can not all be vulnerable.

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