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Health News: NCDC to restart CRS COVID-19 Reference Lab at IDH In 48 hours following Governor Ayade’s intervention”

Gov Ayade has deployed staff, rebuilt and furnished the Reference Laboratory while NCDC provided New PCR machine and some equipment/ medical consumables needed! Now members of the public can go there to be tested free of charge on Mondays to Fridays!

The State’s COVID-19 response suffered some setbacks following the Vandalisation and Looting of the Reference COVID-19 testing Laboratory at Dr Lawrence Henshaw Memorial Hospital (IDH) during the ENDSARS protest. Following the second wave of COVID-19 and the number of cases that are rising the Governor ordered for immediate renovations and restarting of the Laboratory to support surveillance and massive testing in the state.

Presently, massive renovation by the State Government is in progress and completed in some sections, electricity and water destroyed, have been restored to the building; while the Nigeria Center for Disease control (NCDC) whose team have already arrived the state yesterday are supporting the Laboratory with a PCR machine and other equipments needed to get the place functional again. The NCDC have also sent in bio technical engineers and a technical team to restart the Laboratory.

The NCDC team sent by Dr Chikwe DG NCDC has assured the State Commissioner for Health Dr Betta Edu during a courtesy visit in her office that all is set for the lab to start receiving COVID-19 samples for testing again. Mr Tunde Jegede the team lead praised the State Governor, the Government and the Commissioner in particular for the efforts put into curtailing the spread of this virus. “We’ve been sent down here from the National to support the State in setting up her lab amidst other challenges bothering the COVID-19 pandemic which we will address.

Responding, the State Commissioner for Health Dr Betta Edu welcomed and appreciated Dr Chikwe the DG of NCDC for keeping to his words to support the state, while welcoming the NCDC team and assuring them of a strong synergy and working relationship to ensure that both partners achieve a positive results. Our target is to get 450 persons per Local government tested within the next one month!

we have sent more hands to the EOC to ensure we don’t lack the manpower in that area, the EOC team will meet twice a week especially now that the lab is restarted, while strengthening surveillance in the field. The risk communication pillar will need a lot of support bearing in mind the need for them to sensitize the public on the new vaccines. Other pertinent issues are around the Isolation centers that needs to be set up as soon as possible to accommodate larger numbers.

The DG of the CRSPHCDA Dr Janet Ekpenyong who was also part of the visit enumerated the areas the State has recorded tremendous great results as well as areas that needs urgent attention and support. She further explained the State’s head start in tackling COVID-19 that has today made the fight an easy going one even though most health workers are fatigued and will need incentives , massive support and attention.

In a vote of thanks, the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary Barr Takon Asu Takon on behalf of the CRSMOH thanked the NCDC and WHO team for coming as he assured them of not only a good working relationship but also a safe and comfortable stay in the State while appealing for more support from the Federal government as well as partners. In the meeting with the Commissioner was the WHO team led by Mrs Chisom Emeka state coordinator, NCDC Team members, Director Public Heath Dr Iwara Iwara, SA to the Governor on health Dr Ushie, and State epidemiologist Pst Inyang Ekpenyong.

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