FG Directs States to Establish Infection Prevention Committees, Isolation Centres

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Martins Ifijeh

The federal government through the Emergency National Council on Health has called on all 36 states of the federation to ensure the establishment of functional Infection Prevention Committee (IPCs), isolation centres and Emergency Operational Centres in their various domains.

It said all states should adopt a multi-sectoral approach to disease outbreaks including Lassa fever, while also prioritising public health challenges in their respective states.

Stating this in a communique adopted by the Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, Minister of State for Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, the 36 state commissioners, and Secretary, Health and Human Service Secretariat, FCT, during its emergency meeting in Abuja yesterday, the NHC said all states should be able to manage Lassa fever patients in their respective states.

“All states should ensure the strengthening of community response through enlightenment campaigns and community involvement. They should also implement the 60th council resolution on food safety to strengthen ongoing preventive measures,” the communique reads.

The council received updates from states on disease outbreaks including ongoing Lassa Fever outbreak; the status of their preparedness and responses to general diseases outbreaks. This was followed by a national update from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), which reiterated the resources available from the organisation to assist the states in their response.

Speaking at the meeting, which was convened to deliberate on the state of public health in Nigeria in view of the recurring disease outbreaks and specifically the recent Lassa fever outbreak Adewole commended the Edo State Government for the good example shown in the response to the Lassa fever outbreak.
He called on other states to emulate the good example.

He also cited the case of Sokoto State that provides free electricity to the federal teaching hospital and further urged states to table public health issues to their respective state executives on weekly basis, and to work in close collaboration with federal health institutions in their various states.

“Also, we express federal government’s heartfelt condolences to the families of those who lost their lives due to the Lassa fever outbreak as well as other diseases outbreaks.”

A total of 364 participants from the departments, agencies and parastatals of the Federal Ministry of Health, state Ministries of Health and the Health and Human Services Secretariat of the Federal Capital Territory Administration.
Others in attendance were development partners including WHO, EU, USAID, PLAN International, World Bank, BMGF; U.S. CDC, HERFON, and Society for Telemedicine.

There were also delegates from the professional health regulatory bodies, civil society organisations, the private sector as well as the military and para-military organisations.