By Kolawole Olayinka, Abeokuta
Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun has advocated compulsory washing and sanitising of hand by everyone coming to Nigeria, as part of measures aimed at preventing the spread of Coronavirus in the country.
Prince Abiodun who gave the suggestion in his office at Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta, when he played host to officials from the Africa Regional Office, of the World Health Organization (WHO) and National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), also called for the stepping up of advocacy in all parts of the country.
Governor Abiodun described the Coronavirus as no respecter of persons, saying Nigeria should take a cue from other nations that insisted, people coming to their countries must wash, sanitise their hands, take the vaccine and go through thorough screening before they are allowed in.
‘’Other countries seem to be more aggressive in terms of steps taken to contain the disease. I think it would be nice for us to compel people coming to our country to wash their hands before presenting any documents to an official at the airports’’.
He stressed the importance of advocacy, saying, “one of the things I realised is that, we must step up advocacy because I was told of a particular Medical Doctor who saw a patient that presented symptoms like that of Coronavirus and yet he did not raise the alarm, but allow the patient to go while he continues to see other patients”.
Prince Abiodun, while regretting that some people might not be aware of how dangerous the virus was, hinted that the State government was looking at how to set up a Bio-security centre for quick testing, adding that efforts were being intensified to adequately equip Isolation Centres in the State, to respond to any eventuality.
The Governor thanked the NCDC for its prompt response by donating needed items, noting that a multi-sectorial team, made up of the media and government officials, has been set up to respond appropriately should the situation becomes epidemic.
Speaking, the Head, Africa Regional Office, World Health Organization, Prof. Bola Olayinka, said the mission of the world body was to support countries to respond to infections and to promote healthy living among its people.
She said the Organization was working with Nigeria through the National Centre for Disease Control and the Ogun State Ministry of Health by providing technical guidelines on how to deal, control and prevent the Coronavirus, noting that they are aware of the case and those being monitored.
Prof. Olayinka commended the State for its pro-activeness, by moving rapidly to ensure containment, assuring that her team would assist the State to develop messages that would help people know what they needed to do to protect themselves, as well as instruct healthcare givers on how to detect cases and how to safely manage them.
The State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Tomi Coker, who also spoke at the occasion, explained that Emergency Operation Centre has been established, Multi-Disciplinary team activated, while the State received support from partners on contact tracing.
She said a nine-man team from the State led by an Infectious Consultant, was currently understudying the care of the Index Case in Lagos, to enable the State build capacity to manage the situation, adding that the 40 isolated contacts have not developed fever, symptoms nor Coronavirus.
The team leader from NCDC, Dr. Oladipo Ogunbode, said the Centre would assess the isolation centre, using National Assessment Tools to know and evaluate the state of preparedness and response level in order to use the gap in developing an Incident Action Plan on things to be done in the next one month.