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Thursday, December 1, 2022

COVID-19: NCDC officials arrive Akure over ARDT project

By Kemi Olatunde

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Officials of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) yesterday arrived Akure, the Ondo State capital to execute a project on Antigen Rapid Diagnostic Testing(Ag RDT) on the COVID-19 pandemic in the state.

The delegation paid an advocacy visit to the State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Banji Awolowo Ajaka in his office who assured the team of government’s unflinching support while highlighting the several efforts of the Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN-led administration in tackling the pandemic.

The Commissioner expressed optimism that complementing the ongoing efforts on vaccination with testing will undoubtedly make the pandemic a thing of the past.

Speaking at the meeting of members of the Emergency Operation Centre(EOC) for COVID-19 in the State held at Conference Room of the Infectious Diseases Hospital(IDH),Igbatoro Road, Akure,  leader of the team, Mr. Celestine Ameh who described the title of the project as “COVID-19:Scaling Impact Through Agenda RDT” called for collaborations and synergy of efforts, stressing that the eight states in the country including Ondo have been selected for the project.

Ameh averred that the World Health Organization(WHO) workstream prioritised active, exhaustive case finding and immediate testing, adding that Nigeria has keyed into the strategy of scale up on testing on COVID-19.

According to him,  the main objective of the project is to increase COVID-19 testing capacities towards preventing local outbreaks.

Also speaking, Director, Disease Control and Immunization, Ondo State Primary Health Care Agency(OSPHCA), Dr. Victor Adefesoye explained that the state is ready to collaborate with NCDC as the project will impact positively on residents of the state.

Adefesoye stressed the need to complement the ongoing vaccination against COVID-19 with testing in order to achieve better outcomes.

He averred that the new strategy will undoubtedly ensure a high coverage of testing for the disease.

The Director, Epidemiology and Disease Control, Ministry of Health, Dr. Stephen Fagbemi noted that the project is the second phase of intervention projects the state will get as the World Health Organisation(WHO) had earlier supported the state.

Fagbemi described the state’s positivity level as going higher in the new year saying the situation is an indication that there is the need to scale up efforts in testing.

The State Epidemiologist disclosed that the proposed COVID-19 testing strategies of the state include the establishment of mobile RDT testing sites, strengthening and scaling up of facility RDT sites and establishment of community testing sites.

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