TOYIN ADEBAYO, ABUJA
The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire has hinted that Nigeria has the capacity to manufacture many of the Personal Protective Equipments (PPEs) we presently import and are in high demand globally.
While adding that the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology demonstrated innovative capabilities to participate in finding solutions to the problem of shortages in commodities and equipment.
He gave this hint at a daily briefing of the presidential Task Force on Covid-19 on Abuja, saying, We are convinced that Nigeria has the potential to manufacture many of the commodities we presently import, which presently high global demand also make difficult to come by.
He revealed that the Federal Government through the
National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) is adapting the infrastructure for demand creation in its response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, this approach will be useful for the engagement of communities and population mobilisation.
Ehanire stated that the training of health workers will also be fast tracked in new high burden States, as is being conducted in Kano State, with focus on needs identified by State Commissioners of Health, whom the Federal Ministry of Health has been engaging, to define the training and capacity building deficits.
He further stated that, the Ministerial team of FMoH left en route to Lokoja today to work with the Kogi State government. It includes officials of NCDC and Dept. of Hospital Services of the Ministry of Health. They will ensure that the state has adequate testing capacity and shall also advocate for the engagement of traditional rulers and community leaders in surveillance efforts of the State.
According to him, “Nigeria now has 3,145 persons confirmed to have COVID-1 in 34 states and the Federal Capital Territory. The 195 persons who tested positive yesterday, were reported in 13 states distributed as follows: 82 in Lagos, 30 in Kano, 19 in Zamfara, 18 in Sokoto, 10 in Borno, 9 in FCT, 8 in Oyo, 5 each in Gombe and Kebbi, 4 in Ogun, 3 in Katsina, and 1 each in Adamawa and Kaduna. Sadly, 103 COVID-19 related fatalities have been recorded, however, 534 persons have recovered and been discharged.
“21 laboratories nationwide are now operational for covid-19 testing, as we work to drive up demand. The Laboratories in Kano were directed to work in shifts, to reducie the turnaround time for testing”, he added
Speaking on the Kano issue, the minister said that the Ministry of Health’s Task Team to Kano is collaborating intimately and fully engaged in remediation activities, strongly emphasizing training and capacity building for all personnel, in order to help rebuild manpower in State and Federal health facilities. This includes non-medical personnel such as cleaners, porters and security guards, especially in the COVID-19 isolation and treatment centres. The intensive training is essential to minimise the risk of infection of personnel in the line of duty, which is becoming a major challenge in various parts of Nigeria. We do not have the latitude of having so many essential health workers in treatment or Isolation, and being out of service in these critical times.
He further stated that, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control routinely replenishes stocks of personal protective equipment to State Emergency Operations Centres and the Federal Tertiary Health Institutions to ensure that our health workers are protected. But I also take the opportunity to again appeal to all Health professionals and associated personnel, to diligently follow all safety and infection prevention and control protocols both inside and outside Health facilities and not to indulge in unauthorized treatment of covid 19 cases.
He also joined the SGF in welcoming the first batch of Nigerian nationals, who were successfully repatriated yesterday evening to Lagos from Dubai. They have entered into mandatory supervised 14-day quarantine, in 2 designated hotels, in line with laid down protocols. They will be tested for COVID-19 and any person testing positive shall be invited to a treatment facility.
He , therefore, appealed to returning citizens to bear with us and cooperate with authorities, especially if they perceive imperfections in our arrangements, as this is a test run, the first of these excercises. I shall here also request all states to embark on preparing at least 300 bed spaces for COVID-19 isolation and treatment. As testing is scaled up and more persons with COVID-19 infection are identified, it is necessary that they are safely and securely isolated and treated with dignity until they test negative, to break our chain of transmission.