By Ebele Egoh/Chukwudi Nwauba :
Awka, June 23, 2020 (MOI) Anambra State Commissioner for Health, Dr Vincent Okpala says the training of laboratory sample collectors on COVID-19 cases will help in prompt identification of the pandemic.
Dr Okpala said this while declaring the 2-day training of laboratory technicians on COVID-19 cases at Cihcotel Hotels, Awka.
The commissioner noted that the state would benefit immensely from the training.
He applauded WHO and Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) facilitators for collaborating with his ministry in training the participants.
“We want to decentralise sample collection centres in the state and each of the Local Government Areas (LGAs) will have at least two trained personnel on sample collection.
“This will help to support the COVID-19 ward taskforce already in place so that when they find anyone with the symptoms of the virus it will not be difficult for them to collect the sample.
“After this training, each local government will have at least two to three identified sample collection sites. They will rotate round two to three hospitals to be closer to the grassroots.’’
Dr Okpala noted that all the trainees would be integrated into the LGA’s Rapid Response Team and the LGA’s mini Emergency Operating Centres.
WHO State Coordinator, Dr Chukwumuanya Igboekwu said that WHO is supporting the State in order to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We have been building the capacity of the State team, providing both technical and financial resources so that they can be able to respond to COVID-19 cases.
“The training you are seeing is one of the collaborative partnerships, the state government requested for our support to strengthen their laboratory component.
“It will as well help the state to de-centralize the response to the LGA so that the LGA will now serve as mini operational centres for response,’’ he said.
Dr Igboekwu noted that the laboratory sample collectors would be domiciled in the local government of various hospitals, especially at the General Hospitals.
He maintained that sample collectors would be well equipped as well able to support the state response to collection of samples.
The facilitator, Mr Omobude Osa’s said that the training was crucial because of the COVID-19 and that after the training participants were expected to know collection, packaging and COVID-19 samples.
Mr Osa’s, who is also from National Reference Lab NCDC, Abuja, explained that participants should be able to practice the donning and doffing of personal protective equipment in the various LGA’s.
“They should be able to manage the COVID-19 waste before proper disposal and also be able to practice bio safety precautions in their facilities.
A participant, Miss Ifeoma Onuorah thanked the state government for having the safety of health personnel at heart.
She said that the provision of Personal Protective Equipment for health workers and various trainings they had received would enable them put in their best in order to contain the pandemic. (MOI)