By, MOHAMMED KAWU, Bauchi
Bauchi State Government is spending more than N15 million every two weeks on contact tracing and surveillance, cases management, risks communication, infection prevention and coordination in the efforts to check the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.
The State Governor, Bala Mohammed said that his government similarly approved for the immediate release of the sum of N85 million for upgrade of services for the newly established Molecular testing Centre in Bauchi.
Speaking while commissioning the new reference modular laboratory centre built at the Specialist Hospital, Bauchi, the governor revealed that the centre has the capacity to test 300 samples per day.
He noted that the certification of the molecular laboratory by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) will significantly reduce the waiting time for result of sample test thereby improving efficiency.
Senator Bala Mohammed observed that the strategies adopted by Bauchi state in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic is yielding positive results.
“I emphasize that this molecular laboratory is one of our cardinal strategies in combating the spread of COVID-19 and lassa fever outbreak in the state”, he said.
Mohammed also revealed, “This laboratory was established under a joint partnership with the state government, the North East Development Commission (NEDC) and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), while the state government provided funding for the construction of the building and procurement of furniture and power supply.
He assured that his administration will remain committed towards the provision of qualitative healthcare services to the citizens of the state through construction and renovation of health facilities across the state.
Mohammed explained that the state government will prioritize the welfare of frontline health workers in the state so as to tackle the challenges facing the sector and ensure effective service delivery.
The governor commended the NEDC for showing empathy with the state government by lending its full support to the initiative, describing it as the spirit of the North East.
He also expressed gratitude to the commission for its palliative support to the state government, in addition to the equipment provided for the smooth operation of the laboratory.
The managing director of the NEDC, Alhaji Mohammed Alkali had earlier reaffirmed the readiness of the commission to support not only Bauchi state, but all states in the region to tackle the spread of COVID-19 and other challenges that require support.
Alkali explained that the support of the commission to the state commission at this critical period of coronavirus is to assist the state manage the virus.
Representation of WHO, UNICEF and other donor partners who spoke at the commissioning ceremony described the laboratory as one of the best in the country, and pledged their support for the sustenance of the centre.