Thirty-two out of the 36 states in Nigeria now have molecular laboratories to ramp up testing of citizens for coronavirus and other infectious diseases. Also, 29 states have received funding from the Regional Disease Surveillance Systems Enhancement (REDISSE) project to strengthen their public health response to COVID-19.
This was disclosed at the 15th virtual meeting of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), which held on Wednesday.
NGF Chairman, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, in a communiqué at the end of the meeting, said testing remains the number one priority for the government, adding that efforts were being made to ensure that the four remaining states get molecular laboratories.
“Data from COVID-19 tests conducted in the country show that 20 local government areas in the country account for 50 percent of the COVID-19 cases recorded.
“In the light of this, all state governments will be required to scale up risk communications campaigns in these areas through state and local structures,” the governor stated.
The strategy, he added, is to provide necessary impetus on communicating with the public to curtails the spread of COVID-19 in the country.
“State governments will also be able to identify and engage with all the relevant multisectoral partners as the success of this strategy. Commissioners of information are to head this exercise nationwide,” he said.
The Ekiti State governor further disclosed that discussions were ongoing with the Federal Government to facilitate access to unrealised funds from the Universal Basic Education (UBE) Fund.
He also stated that the NGF is awaiting an advisory from the Attorney General of the Federation on the call for a waiver on counterpart funds from states in the light of the impact of the COVID-19 on state finances.
By Onyekachi Eze,