The Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr. Faissal Shuaib, says the agency is making use of the Emergency Operations Centres that helped the nation to eradicate the wild poliovirus and Ebola to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dr. Shuaib disclosed this while speaking in a video posted on the official Twitter handle of the agency on Wednesday.
According to the him, the EOCs were central to all the measures used by the agency to eradicate polio and also combat the Ebola outbreak of 2014.
“The Emergency Operation Centres were critical in eradicating the Wild Poliovirus as well as the Ebola crisis in Nigeria.
“We are leveraging the Polio experience to fight COVID-19 and to support other health emergencies as we strive to build a stronger health system,” he said.
The NPHCDA DG explained that the Polio EOC now supporting the fight against COVID-19 have experts on disease conditions as well as partners looking at disease surveillance data and analysing it to ensure there are answers to tough questions.
“The EOC also have healthcare workers and community members with a lot of experience in social mobilisation.
“They are involved in engaging local leaders in conveying information to local community leaders.
“The global polio eradication initiative provided support to mobilise financial, human and technical resources that were required because of the rigorousness of how an EOC works.
“The same officers that did the polio contact tracing were able to ensure that the cases of Ebola were detected quickly before they spread in the community,” he said.
The Polio EOCs, Dr. Shuaib said, are now being used to fight the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.
Shuaib stated further that the EOC would also, be invaluable in ensuring success for the upcoming COVID-19 vaccination campaign because of its experience of handling and coordinating polio vaccine supply chain and distribution throughout the country.
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