Coronavirus: “We’ve trained health workers to manage infectious diseases”
As part of efforts to ward off outbreaks such as the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in the state, the Edo State Government had trained workers in Primary Healthcare Centers (PHCs) and other government health establishments in 18 Local Government Areas of the state on how to manage infectious diseases and is now updating these medical workers on how to deal with peculiarities of the pandemic.
In a statement, Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Communication Strategy, Mr. Crusoe Osaagie, said the training commenced months ago as part of the Edo Healthcare Improvement Programme (Edo-HIP) aimed at preparing the health workers on how to manage health emergencies and other public health concerns.
He noted that refresher courses are being undertaken to prepare the health workers on the peculiarities of COVID-19, to ensure they are well-prepared to manage the pandemic.
Osagie urged residents not to panic as the state government has taken serious steps to prevent an outbreak of the virus in the state.
He said, “As part of the meetings with religious and traditional leaders in the state, we have partnered with relevant health agencies, including World Health Organisation (WHO), Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH) and the State Ministry of Health, to train church workers, community leaders and volunteers on how to manage large crowds, conduct screenings and temperature tests, among other necessary measures to ward off the outbreak of the novel coronavirus in Edo State. Teams have been sent to communities, church premises and other worship places to ensure social distancing is observed”.
The governor’s aide said preparations for the Edo 2020 National Sports Festival (NSF) gave the state a head start in preparation for management of public health emergencies, as necessary equipment and gadgets are in place to address any suspected case of the COVID-19.
Reassuring on the state’s readiness to ward off the outbreak of coronavirus in Edo, Osagie said, “We have invaluable experience in managing infectious diseases in Edo State, especially with the management of periodic Lassa Fever outbreaks. As a result, the state government has, for the purpose of containing an outbreak of COVID-19 in the state, reactivated its isolation centres in the three senatorial districts in the state, including those at the Stella Obasanjo Hospital; Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital (ISTH) and General Hospital, Auchi.
He noted, however, that citizens and residents should avoid large gatherings that could expose them to bodily contacts.
On how to reduce the risk of spread of the virus, the governor’s aide advised, “Members of the public should to wash their hands regularly with soap under running water; cover the mouth and nose properly with a handkerchief or tissue paper when sneezing and/or coughing. You may also cough into your elbow if a handkerchief is not available.
“Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing; avoid self-medication, report to the nearest health facility when you experience any of the above-mentioned symptoms. Healthcare workers are always advised to observe standard infection prevention and control measures when attending to patients and take a travel history,” he added.
Osagie urged Edo residents to contact the following numbers for more information: Director of Disease Control on 08084096723; State Epidemiologist on 08064258163, Acting State Disease Surveillance Notification Officer (DSNO) on 07015216386, and the World Health Organisation (WHO) State Coordinator on 08035835529.