Ekiti state Commissioner for health, Dr. Olurotimi Ojo has attributed the success in curtailing the spread of deadly and contagious diseases like Lassa fever, Ebola, Cow pox to having a functional Disease Surveillance and Notification System in the State.
Speaking while receiving 17 motorcycles donated by the World Health Organization (WHO) to strengthen disease surveillance in the State, Dr Ojo explained that the State has six standing committees that handle critical aspects of health management control towards achieving effective prevention and treatment of diseases.
Ojo said that the motorcycles would assist in getting to the grassroots and boost health care delivery in the State, assuring that they would be properly utilized.
”It will oil the wheel of progress. It will support and compliment the system. Some of the areas where they could not quickly get to, like the remote areas when there is need for active search for surveillance . It is going to be of immense support. That is why I said it is complimenting the system”.
Earlier the WHO Representative in Nigeria, Dr Wondi Alemu who said surveillance is at the core of disease control, elimination and eradication efforts, explained that the motorcycles were donated to boost government’s efforts to build a highly sensitive and robust system capable of rapidly detecting and responding to diseases of epidemic potentials.
Speaking through the Ekiti State Coordinator, WHO, Dr.(Mrs.) Kafayat Akinyemi, Dr. Alemu stressed the role of Disease Surveillance and Notification officers(DSNOs) in active surveillance through visits to communities and health facilities as well as linking with key community informants adding that they also facilitate timely investigative and response to outbreaks where they occur.
According to him, the 16 DSNOs and 1 SDSNO serve the estimated total population of 3,439,132 out of which are 1,637,027 under 15 years who are classified as especially highly vulnerable population at acquiring infectious diseases and facing other events of public health importance.
Stressing the need for more cooperative between government and donors towards achieving ”the highest standards of health” in the state, Alemu advised that the motorcycles be properly utilized , emphasizing that the DSNOs must duly maintain the motorcycles and use them for the purpose they are intended for.
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