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Published On: Fri, Apr 24th, 2020

Kaduna moves to stop stigma, discrimination against discharged COVID -19 patients

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From Femi Oyelola, Kaduna

Kaduna State Government is set to put in place mechanism that will ensure that there is no discrimination and stigmatization of discharged Covid- 19 patients.
The state Commissioner for Health Dr Amina Mohammed Baloni made the assertion while addressing the media in Kaduna yesterday.
According to her, a monitoring and evaluation template has been developed to enable real time electronic capture of activities and progress in the various implementation processes in the response to COVID-19.
“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. “ She said
Dr. Baloni also disclosed that the state has carried out 115 Covid-19 tests out of which nine returned positive,, saying the state has also carried out 174 contacts tracing.
She said that the state has activated one testing laboratory at a private facility, with two others at Yusuf Dantsoho Hospital and Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria almost ready for Covid-19 testing activities.
The Commissioner confirmed that the state has treated and discharged six Coronavirus patients including the index case, Governor Nasir el-Rufai, who was discharged on Wednesday, with three active cases left, adding that the state has capacity to make 100 Covid-19 tests everyday once the testing kits and reagents are available, with the result coming out within four to six hours.
She said since the first case was reported on March 27, Kaduna state has engaged relevant stakeholders, activated an Emergency Operations Committee on Covid-19, which she chaired, responsible for coordinating the state’s preparedness and response for Covid-19, and developed an incident action plan.
“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. State investment and corporate social responsibility of 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, seven days a week, to review progress of the plan and other emerging issues. So far, 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 don’t have any deaths related to Covid-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 Covid-19 in Kaduna state. DNA lab had its certification for Covid-19 testing, ABU Zaria would be ready tomorrow, while YDMH (Yusuf Dantsoho Memorial Hospital) is hopeful to commence by next week when the real time PCR machine being procured arrives the state.
“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.”
According to Dr Amina, the border closure will help contain the virus, improve the surveillance in place, ensure that cases are picked early and those affected get necessary support. She urged residents to observe hygienic practices by washing their hands, maintain social distancing, avoid touching their eyes, nose and mouth, cough and sneeze into disposable tissue paper or their elbow and cover their nose and mouth with face mask when outdoor. “ She concluded

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