By Stephen Adeleye.
Gov. Yahaya Bello of Kogi on Friday said the state has established a Bio-safety Laboratory for Lassa fever treatment centre located at Kogi Specialist Hospital in Lokoja.
The governor also said that the centre had successfully treated and discharged three patients out of the five confirmed cases of Lassa fever from January 2019 till date.
Bello said this at a One-Day sensitisation meeting of traditional rulers, Local Government Administrators and other key stakeholders on Flood Mitigation, at Banquet hall, Government House, Lokoja.
The meeting was organised by Kogi State Ministry of Health in collaboration with World Health Organisation (WHO), to strengthening Lassa Fever surveillance, routine Immunization and primary health care.
Represented by his Chief of Staff, Mr Edward Onoja, Bello said that the state now treated cases of Lassa fever and had so far recorded 100 per cent success rate in case management.
Bello said that his administration had given utmost priority to delivering quality healthcare to the people, through many healthcare programmes, timely release of fund and deployment of relevant manpower to curb outbreak of diseases across the state.
The governor said that his administration had performed well in education, health, jobs creation, youth empowerment, rural and urban infrastructure development, among others.
Bello said that he had recently assented to several bills on health matters that would further strengthen the healthcare delivery system to every citizens across the state.
”Prompt flood responses have ensured the impacts of this yearly natural disaster are mitigated this we are able to achieve by timely release of fund and deployment of relevant manpower.
”The bedrock of health care delivery is an efficient Primary Health Care system. To this end, our government has sent a letter of Expression of Interest to the Hon. Minister for Health for the State to benefit from the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund.
”I have also assented to the bill for the establishment of Primary Health Care Under One Roof (PHCUOR) and released counterpart Fund for Supplemental Immunization Activities in the state.
”Furthermore, a befitting office accommodation has been secured for the State Primary health Care Development Agency.
”These are some of our efforts towards strengthening Primary Health Care for improve service delivery.
“It’s my earnest expectation that our collective efforts at strengthening Primary Health Care, would begin to yield fruits, health promotion, disease prevention and emergency preparedness; Kogi State shall be one of the best in Nigeria,” Bello said.
The state Commissioner for Health, Dr Saka Audu, said state government had made concerted efforts to mitigate lassa fever and other epidemic prone disease in the state.
Audu said that the ministry through the full support of the governor had recorded great achievement especially in the area of disease control and immunisation.
He explained that ministry had shown timely response to disease outbreaks and medical emergencies with a speed that had attracted national and international commendation.
He said they were able to partner with Nigeria Center for Disease Control to establish a Public Health Emergency Operations Center, currently operational.
“This development has greatly increased the efficiency of our response to issues of Public Health Magnitude.
“It has created a platform to connect to our local government areas in real time while also being connected to NCDC.
“In the overall our responses are now more coordinated making us better prepared for Disease outbreaks,” he said.
He thanked the governor for putting the health as foremost on his agenda, while appreciating Health Implementation Partners including WHO, AFENET, CIHP, UNICEF, MCSP, AHF among others, for their support.
On his part, Kennedy Adejoh, the WHO state Coordinator, said that the sensitisation was to build on what they had done, so that the incidences of the flood impacts could be reduced drastically.
He noted that the status of Routine Immunization in Kogi had increase tremendously from 38.5 in 2016 to 68 per cent as at the end of first quarter of 2019,
He, however, called for improvement that Kogi has not met the 90 per cent stipulated Immunisation coverage by the WHO, saying that only five LGAs passed the recent survey on immunisation out of the 21 LGAs in the state.
Dr Austin Ojotule, the state Epidemiologist, said a total of 12 confirmed cases of Lassa fever were recorded in 2018, compared to five confirmed cases in 2019, saying three out of the five were successfully treated and discharged.
He said that one of the three treated cases was confirmed last week but the patient was successfully treated and discharged.