AfricaHealth & FitnessNigeria

100days of COVID-19: FG strives best outcomes for Nigerians

By Oluwaseun Sonde

The Honourable Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire has said that in the past 100 days of first confirmed case of COVID-19, Federal Government has consistently striven the best outcomes for the citizens of Nigeria, while preparing for the worst case scenario as he revealed some key achievements and milestones of the Ministry over the days.

Speaking on 100 days of COVID-19 Press Briefing through Social Media on Saturday, he said Nigeria has significantly scaled-up testing capacity, surveillance, community mobilisation, coordination, contact tracing, community awareness and other factors to fight against the pandemic.

He revealed some key achievements and milestones of the Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH) so far, which includes 6,650 total bed capacity for the management of COVID-19 cases, Deployment of Rapid Response Team has increased from 15 States to 34 States, Vigilant monitoring of international borders at land, sea and air points of entry (POE) by the Division of Port Health Services.

“Deployment of Nigeria Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Programme (NFELTP) graduates to support the fieldwork in the emergency operation centres (EOCs), Development of risk communication strategies, Development of a health sector response action plan, Creation of a Ministerial expert advisory committee, Development of standard operation procedures (SOPs), protocols and guidelines in collaboration with partners for mental health, decontamination and burial, occupational health and safety especially for staff in isolation centres.

“Training of 170 master-trainers on infection, prevention and control (IPC), who have now trained over 16,000 personnel, Efficient distribution of key personal protective equipment (PPE) in all states and federal health institutions. Special Ministerial Team deployed to Kano, Jigawa, Sokoto, Bornu, Gombe, Katsina States to support response efforts, Activation of ambulance services including capacity building in Kano and spreading nationwide”, he said.

He added that the parastatals under the Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH) have brought all their expertise to bear in responding to the pandemic. “I would like to highlight achievements of 4 of our parastatals in this presentation. The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, the National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD) and the Nigerian Institute for Medical Research (NIMR).

“The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), under whose mandate many of the outbreak response measures fall, has recorded laudable milestones such as, Activation of the National Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) at Level 3, to coordinate the health sector response and publication of daily situation reports, to make data available to Nigerians, Scaling-up from 2 molecular laboratories at the beginning of the pandemic, to 30 laboratories which have a combined minimum capacity to carry out 35,000 tests daily.

“Deployment of National Rapid Response Teams (100) totaling over 100 personnel to the 35 States and FCT with confirmed cases, to support capacity strengthening of State RRTs, as well as outbreak investigation and response activities, Development and dissemination of guidelines based on emerging evidence on case management, infection prevention and control, use of masks, risk communications and other key areas of the response.

Through the World Bank funded REDISSE project, development of a support package for every State in Nigeria, worth 100 million Naira each”. Furthermore, he said FMoH is working with its Departments of Hospital Services, Public Health and Family Health to ensure that essential and Routine Health care delivery are retained and RMNCH+N and immunization and other emergency services do not suffer a breakdown. “FMoH continues to engage and support states, by paying on the spot visits, to share in their COVID-19 response activities. “We also continue to urge healthcare workers to maintain a high index of suspicion

when treating patients. We advise all citizens to please use a face mask when leaving their houses,wash hands regularly, use sanitisers and observe physical distancing. Please adhere to advisories and continue to take precautions as we forge ahead together in the fight against COVID-19″, he said.

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