By; BENEDICT SUNDAY, Kaduna
The World Health Organisation (WHO) Kaduna state office has donated a motorcycle each to all the 23 local government councils in Kaduna State for disease surveillance activities to prevent outbreaks.
The WHO State Coordinator Dr. Dauda Madubu, in Kaduna said that the motorcycles were distributed to help in times of controlling and maintaining the outbreak of diseases in the state.
He said that the motorcycles would also help in the investigation of any suspected disease outbreak and regular supervision of surveillance activities in rural areas.
He added that surveillance requires prompt reporting from the community members, including religious leaders and traditional rulers.
“When there is any disease which is not reported early then it will become a big problem in the state,’’ he said.
The coordinator however advised the local councils to ensure proper maintenance of the motorcycles in order to have a speedy result.
Dr. Dauda Madubu also called on the state Ministry of Health to support the programme to help fight diseases.
Mallam Shehu Mohammed, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, who received the motorcycles on behalf of the commissioner, pledged to strengthen the disease surveillance.
He said that one of the challenges the surveillance officers were facing was lack of logistics and transportation to cover remote communities.
Mallam Mohammed commended the WHO for the support, promising that the motorcycles will be used judiciously.
The State Epidemiologist, Aisha Sadiq, said the aim of the intervention was to have a review of the disease surveillance and emergency activities over the past three years.
Mrs Sadiq listed the common outbreaks in the state as measles, cholera and meningitis.
However, she said the state was recording influx of more people and exposure to more diseases due to training, commerce and security, among others.
According to her, the state had recorded outbreaks of cholera, measles in 2016 and 2017, and eight cases of meningitis in 2017.
“In 2017 we confirm four cases of Lassa fever and this year we only confirm one case, but we are still investigating to see if there are more.
“We want our disease surveillance officers and directors of health to accept that with these changes in disease epidemiology, there is a need for us to work harder,” she said.
Mrs Sadiq explained that the local council directors of primary healthcare were sensitised because they work directly with community members.
She expressed satisfaction on the dissemination of surveillance reports and the speedy surveillance activities across the state.