Nigeria reported its first case of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) on February 27, 2020 in Ogun state. Since then, the Government made concerted efforts to contain, interrupt and end transmission of the virus among Nigerians. Despite these efforts, cases continued to increase in number and geographical spread. Community engagement being critical to the success of contact tracing efforts CARES Act leveraged the COVID-19 Messages of Hope Project by engaging faith leaders in disseminating key COVID-19 messages within and beyond faith institutions and structures. Caritas Nigeria worked with the Messages of Hope Steering Committee members and their peers in the different congregations in conjunction with relevant government agencies at sub national levels. These relationships which had been established across the six geo-political regions were used to raise awareness and acceptance of COVID-19 case identification, support identification of key contacts, and take proactive measures based on national guidelines and recommendations to manage them appropriately. The CARES Act intervention collaborated with the Nigerian Center for Disease Control, the National Emergency Operation Centre, COVID-19 Presidential Task Force and other partners to leverage trusted faith community relationships for contact tracing and case-identification to improve COVID-19 response.
As part of activities under the CARES Act project in the last five months, Caritas Nigeria facilitated the vaccination of about 200,000 Nigerians for COVID 19.