By Festus Fifen.
As part of its drive eradicate Viral Hepatitis from Nigeria in the shortest possible time, the Yakubu Gowon Centre has called on the Yobe state government to set up a technical working group on viral hepatitis in order to sustain the ongoing campaign, screening and vaccination against the disease in the state.
Representative of the Yakubu Gowon Centre Mr. David Nwedu who made this call in Damaturu the Yobe state capital during a working visit to the Commissioner of Health Yobe State Dr. Muhammed Kawuwa said the impact of the ongoing screening and vaccination of health workers and internally displaced persons against viral hepatitis in the state which is a project of the Presidential Committee on Northeast Initiative PCNI in collaboration with the Yakubu Gowon centre, Federal Ministry of Health, Moriah Trust Ltd, Philips Pharmaceuticals and Centre for HIV/AIDS and STD Research (CHISTRE) will not be felt if there is no technical working group to build on the successes that will be achieved.
In his words ” we want to appreciate the fact that you received us into the state and gave us the platform to offer service which has been the hallmark of Yakubu Gowon Centre and the partners. we have carefully chosen the partners we are working with so that we can give quality service which is what we are known for”
“This is our second visit to the state and we are working to make sure that we achieve our goal which is total eradication of viral hepatitis in the state.
“From the screening so far the prevalent rate among health workers is high. and this calls for immediate attention on treatment, to reduce the spread especially among the internally displaced persons in camps and host communities.”
“Additionally, we are advising as a way forward that the ministry set up a technical working group other than just a desk that will continue events after we have pulled out by given prospective partners a profile of the state as it has to do with viral hepatitis” he noted.
While assuring the Commissioner that the Team will be willing to offer any assistance to the state in setting up this technical working group, Dr. Omede Ogu of the Federal Ministry of Health added that the Yakubu Gowon Centre with other partners will develop a sustainability plan that will lead to state ownership of the project after the first 5000 person targeted has been covered.
The Yobe state commissioner for Health Dr. Muhammed Kawuwa who thanked the visiting team for their efforts in the state so far, assured them that the state is willing to key into the Intervention Programme of the Yakubu Gowon Centre and partners.
” let me specifically say a big thank you to the Gowon Centre, The Federal Ministry of Health and other partners for identifying one of the public health issue in Yobe State and also coming onboard to give us assistance to ensure that we are able to start from somewhere and start it right.”
” I want to assure you that the Yobe State Government is committed to whatever will improve the health and wellbeing of the people, so I can assure you that we develop and build on the support you have given to us to make sure that it is sustained and it will become one of the state intervention areas.”
Dr. Kawuwa also Used the medium to appeal to the Presidential Committee on North East Initiative PCNI and the Federal Ministry of Health to assist the state in her quest to rebuild Hospitals and primary healthcare Centres that were destroyed by the insurgents so as to boost the confidence of the people to return home and start their lives all over again with the assurance that their health challenges will be well taken care of.
“I think one area I will ask the PCNI, the Federal Ministry of Health and the Gowon Centre to intervene is to see if we can get support to rebuild our health facilities that have come under serious attacks by the insurgents.
” At the state level, about 6 general hospitals have been either renovated or reconstructed by the State Government with the Sani Abatcha specialist hospital being the worst hit. This hospital so far has been visited about three to four times by the insurgents carting away equipments, ambulances drugs etc. Most of these hospitals are now ready for equipping.” He concluded.