WHO sends support team to Kano, Nigeria

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A Rapid Response Team has been deployed by World Health Organisation (WHO) to support Kano State Government in Nigeria to strengthening its fight against COVID-19.

The northern state has recorded a spike in COVID-19 cases after it first recorded an index case on April 11. The current figures released by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) for the state is 509 active cases, 18 deaths and 20 recoveries. The total tally for Nigeria has released by the NCDC is 3116 active cases and 117 deaths.

As part of the response strategy, WHO trained and deployed additional 88 Local Government Facilitators (LGAFs) to support the ongoing COVID-19 response at the LGA level.

The training which lasted between May 2 and May 4, had in attendance, 88 newly engaged surveillance assistants who would be deployed to the 44 LGAs.

According to WHO, the 88 surveillance assistants are to strengthen active case search, reporting and contact tracing, risk communication as well as infection prevention and control.

The State Coordinator, Dr Jibrin Alkasim, said the rising number of positive cases had thrown up the challenge of following up on several contacts within the state.

 “To have a pool of experts that will support response to COVID-19, particularly with respect to surveillance and risk communication, we have to train these facilitators to take the mandate to the lower level,” he said.

He said the involvement of these officers would support contact tracing and active case search in both public and private health facilities as well as in communities.

Alkasim said the measure would lead to early detection and notification of cases.

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