The Honorable Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole has called on the Governor of Zamfara state, Alhaji Abdulaziz Yari to focus on strengthening the PHC system in the state. He described this as the only way to prevent outbreaks and most of the common cases affecting the people.
“Once the PHC system is in place we can tackle not just this outbreak but 70-80% of the cases of our people,” he said. Adewole said that any single case could have been easily reported at the PHC level and a response would have been activated and this scale of outbreak would have been avoided.
“Next year dry season is coming again. We need to make sure that we are prepared totackle the next outbreak.” “We need to educate our people that this infection is so easy to treat and diagnose. We must put a lot of effort into active case finding. We are recommending a house to house search,” the Minister added.
He called on the state government to deal decisively with people selling vaccines and life saving commodities provided by the FG for free.
“There are people selling these drugs. We must apprehend them”
He called on Nigerians to remain confident in the response of the Federal Government coordinated by the National Center for Disease Control (NCDC) saying that the agency is equipped to tame the epidemic.
In his remarks given earlier, the Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr. Faisal Shauib called on the state government and traditional rulers to continue to educate and mobilise the people on social distancing and to intensify case finding efforts. He said that the NPHCDA is willing to work with the state government to revitalise one PHC in each of the 147 wards in line with the vision of the honourable minister.
Governor Yari thanked the Federal Government for their timely intervention. He acknowledged that the outbreak is being effectively controlled by the FG team and admitted the state was taken by surprise. He said that he will provide leadership by doing all he can to ensure the protection of the lives and property of his people and pledged to get on board with the PHC agenda of Professor Adewole.
“For the past 72 hours we have been seeing fewer cases and positive response. On behalf of Zamfara state government and people, we thank you and we are willing to work with you on PHC.”
He said the state will revisit the structure of the polio programme touting that the state has not witnessed any outbreak since 2012.
He said he will take the issues of the PHC agenda to the Nigerian Governors Forum which he chairs and promised to invite the honourable minister to make a presentation before the members.
Boade akinola (Mrs)
Director, Media /Public Relations
Federal Ministry of Health