Outbreak Of Epidemic : Health Ministry Tasks Heads Of Tertiary Hospitals
The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole has directed heads of federal government tertiary hospitals in the country to prepare, equip and be proactive in responding to outbreak of diseases in the country.
The Minister who made the call while meeting with the heads of the federal government tertiary health Institutions in Abuja,said the meeting was convened to chart a way forward in case of any disease outbreak in the country.
Adewole said: “I should start with global health security, as we might be aware, we have been dealing with series of outbreaks over the last one year. We started with Lassa, we moved on to cholera, there were pockets of measles and now we are dealing with meningitis”.
The Minister urged the general public to notify the Federal Ministry of Health on any outbreak to enable the ministry deploy response team immediately to checkmate the spread of the diseases.
“The outbreak of meningitis in Zamfara actually started late November 2016, but we did not know till February which was unfortunate, if we got to know early, we would have deployed the vaccines available to us, create awareness and take charge of the situation early enough, but since we did not know, we lost valuable time to respond to the outbreak”. He stressed.
Speaking further on the strategies of the federal hospitals to support the primary and secondary health care centres in the States, the Minister urged all the federal government tertiary hospitals to adopt secondary and primary health facilities, supervise it and make sure they work well.
The Minister said that during emergency, medical personnel in the federal hospitals must support the state, primary and general hospitals.
In his words: “We cannot pretend that what is happening outside our tertiary health centres do not concern us, and this is one reason why we must interact with primary and secondary health facilities in the state, otherwise we would spend valuable time treating diarrhea and vomiting instead of looking after the complex cases that we ought to do”.
In his remarks, the National Coordinator, Nigeria Centre for Diseases Control (NCDC), Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu said that the Centre had already dispatched response team and presently working with the state governments in the affected areas of Sokoto and Zamfara. He added that the team is working on early detection and treatment.
He urged the Chief Executives of the tertiary hospitals to work closely with the leadership of the state governments in managing the outbreak.
Ihekweazu added that the agency was working hard to prevent the outbreak of cholera as the raining season has begun in some parts of the country