The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), on Monday, dispatched a 17-man team to engage with the Cross River State government on the state’s COVID-19 response and aligning it with the national strategy.
The Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, disclosed this at the daily briefing of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 in Abuja.
He said the team was led by the Executive Director of the National Primary Health Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Faisal Shuaib.
The minister added that the team left Abuja for Calabar on Monday morning to engage with the Cross River State government in setting up its COVID-19 response and aligning it with the national response.
He said: “Agencies and many departments of the Ministry of Health, like NCDC, Hospital Services and Family Health, are represented in the delegation, to ensure the appropriate technical handshake between the federal and state service delivery pillars.
“It is also to ensure that the disruption of routine medical services, which has been observed in many states, is minimised or eliminated in Cross River State.
“We have also called on the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) in Cross River State to suspend their strike and receive the ministry’s delegation.”
Ehanire said at the request of Governor Ben Ayade, a senior immigration officer was on board to study the border challenges with Cameroon.
The minister also added that a port health officer was also part of the team to assess the risks posed by sea travelers arriving at the state ports, particularly from neighboring Central African countries, such as Congo, Gabon, Cameroon and Angola.
He stated that the state was known to be a producer of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), including face masks, for which the governor wanted Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON)’s endorsement in order to have access to patronage.
Ehanire also noted that following the attack on the Federal Medical Centre, Lokoja, Kogi, arrangements were underway to beef up security at the facility to ensure protection of staff and patients.