We are all witnesses to how things have changed since the report of the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Nigeria on 27th February 2020. Kaduna state engaged relevant stakeholders and an Emergency Operations Committee (EOC) on COVD-19 was activated on 28th February 2020. Chaired by the Commissioner of Health, the EOC is responsible for coordinating the states preparedness and response for Covid-19.
An Incident Action Plan was developed and the Infectious Disease Control Centre (IDCC), was upgraded in terms of infrastructure, specialized equipment and personnel to make it capable of managing COVID-19 patients that may need critical care.
Furthermore, state investment and Corporate Social Responsibility of well-meaning organizations have made it possible to have an additional facility equipped and ready to admit additional 150 patients if necessary. Very soon, the treatment centre would have its side laboratory to support the management of patients in its care.
The Kaduna State Emergency Operations Committee meets daily, thats seven days a week to review progress of the plan and other emerging issues. So far, activities of the EOC through the nine pillars of implementation include:
Over 22,000 people trained on various components of COVID-19 prevention protocol or its management. The training involved health workers, community leaders, FBOs, CBO, WDCs, religious and traditional leaders as well as security personnel. Several levels of these trainings are still being cascaded in health institutions and the community. The training for ambulance drivers and morticians is scheduled to start today.
A total of 115 suspected cases were tested, 9 turned out positive, 3 are on admission, and 6 cases are cured and discharged. A total of 174 contacts are being monitored for adherence to self-isolation or development of symptoms. We dont have any deaths related to COVD-19 and no health worker has been diagnosed as a case.
Kaduna State in collaboration with the NCDC Reference Lab have worked towards ensuring that we prepositioned three labs to have the capacity to test for COVI-19 in Kaduna State. DNA lab had its certification for COVID-19 testing, ABU Zaria would be ready almost tomorrow, while YDMH is hopeful to commence by next week when the real time PCR machine being procured arrives the state.
A monitoring and evaluation template was just developed to enable real time electronic capture of activities and progress in the various implementation processes in the response to COVID-19.
It is critical to communicate to the public what is known about COVID-19, what is unknown, what is being done, and actions needs to be taken on a regular basis.
The State ensures that preparedness and response activities are conducted in a participatory, with the knowledge and contributions with the community. Right now we are working with 950 community mobilizers to see that stigma and discrimination of those that have been treated and have been declared free of the virus stops happening.
For mass media, the State has conducted 39 Interviews 51 TV and radio programs as well as 209 jingles are being aired. We have produced and distributed over 6000 IEC materials and erected 3 billboards in strategic location.
An area of challenge has been the Points of Entries into the State. Twenty-four points were identified, seventeen of which are state owned in which we are going to totally block starting from today. The other would be partially accessible for essential travels dealing with health, food, petrochemicals and security. As we are already aware, the virus does not move, people move it around. This boundary closure will support in containing the virus and improve the surveillance already in place to ensure that cases are pick early and affected individuals get the necessary support needed.
The Ministry of Health urges all Kaduna residents to stay calm and ensure they observe the prevention steps that are being publicised on all credible media. These include:
Hand-washing: residents should wash their hands frequently with soap and water or alcohol-based sanitizers;
Maintain social distancing, keeping at least two meters apart from other people;
Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth;
Practice respiratory hygiene by covering the nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing and sneezing and dispose of the tissue immediately in a covered bin or cough into your elbow;
More importantly awareness creation is on-going for preventive measures
HE the Governor of Kaduna State has made available funds to strengthen measures that would ensure that cases are not found in Kaduna and all suspected cases are followed up and the ones that meet the testing criteria are tested.
Preparations are being made to ensure that sanitary facilities are put in public places, offices and the likes.
A call centre has been put in place to avail information to the populace. This is in addition to the numbers already available
Volunteers to support the processes of information dissemination and other support areas are welcomed.
The House Committee on Health has assured us of their full support in ensuring that this menace does not become a catastrophic event in Kaduna state.
Very importantly is for all travelers from affected regions or individuals with contacts with suspected cases should self-isolate for a period of 14 days and report any symptom of cough, fever or difficulty in breathing to the following numbers: 08051217710, 09058008251, 08118588175, 08118588176 and 09032102632.
The State would continue to work with the Press to update residents of Kaduna State with the right information and allay unnecessary anxiety or panic and other associated risks
The Kaduna State Government is committed to ensure that all update are made available to the public as new developments unfolds.
Dr. Amina Mohammed-Baloni
Commissioner, Ministry of Health
20th March 2020