Kano State Governor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, has inaugurated State Task Force on COVID-19 as a strategy ti institutionalise rapid response against the current global situation.
The inauguration was preceded by a setting up of Covid-19 Emergency Response Committee by the Governor few days ago.
The Taskforce has many scholars and health experts from Bayero University Kani, Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital and other health institutions alongside development partners.
Describing the Task Force as an all-important body, the Governor said it would pave way for the consolidation of the designed response in the state, assuring full support for the Task Force for effective and efficient intervention.
Terms of Reference of the Committee include to "assess the present situation and the risk of COVID-19 in Kano state, coordinate the response of the state to the threat posed by it through multi-disciplinary approach and inter-sectoral collaboration and to also advise the government on necessary steps and decisions that should be taken to combat the threat of COVID-19," he discloses.
Other Terms according to the Governor include "weekly briefing of the Governor and the State Executive Council on the situation on ground, coordinate resource mobilisation for its unwanted outbreak, liaise with relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies at national and sub-national levels on response to the pandemic problem, among others."
The Deputy Governor, Dr Nasiru Yusuf Gawuna, is the Chairman of the Task Force, Co-Chaired by Prof. Abdul-Razaq Garba Habib, Head of Infectious Disease Unit, Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Bayero University, Kano, while the state Commissioner for Health, Dr Aminu Ibrahim Tsanyawa, is a member and Dr Imam Wada Bello, Director Public Health and Disease Control, will serve as the Secretary of the Task Force.
Other members of the committee are Prof. Isa Sadiq Abubakar from BUK, Dr Amina Abdullahi Ganduje, from BUK, Dr Shehu Abdullahi, Director Medical Services, State Ministry of Health, Dr Bashir Abba, State Coordinator, World Health Organisation (WHO), Dr Shamsuddeen Sani, from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Maulid Warfa, Chief of Field Office, UNICEF, Dr Mustapha Tukur, State Lead, CDC/NSTOP among others.
The Committee consists of representatives of all the security agencies, representative of the Emirate Council, Alhaji Wada Aliyu Gaya, District Head of Ajingi and other relevant stakeholders, amongst whom was the Secretary of the Red Cross and Director Information from the state Ministry of Information, Inuwa Idris Yakasai.
At an interactive session held with journalists prior to the inauguration of the Task Force, Governor Ganduje revealed that the state government would work hand in hand with relevant agencies, organisations and individuals in making sure that the proactive measures taken by his administration succeeded.
"I would want use this opportunity to thank Zenith Bank, that comes to us without being approached and assured that they would give their assistance towards effective response to the situation. We shall approach other private organisations and individuals," Ganduje reveals.
All in an effort to further strengthen the proactive measures, he disclosed that the state would use all the major entry points to the state to have screening points there. emphasising that, "Just recently we completed security points through the major entry points to our dear state.
Since we are also going to partner with security agencies for proper screening, we are going to use those security points for our screening exercises of those coming to Kano from those ends."
In his short speech, the Co-Chairman of rhe Task Force, Prof. Habib, commended the state government for being proactive from day one up to the time of inaugurating the Task Force, noting that COVID-19 is a global problem.
The state Health Commissioner, Dr Tsanyawa revealed that, "there are five strategies put in place to respond in the most appropriate way to this global phenomenon.
The strategies, as he listed are "heightened surveillance and identification of potential suspects, efficient contact tracing, enhanced risk communication and behavioral changes, effective management of confirmed cases, if any, and psychological support of confirmed cases".
Meanwhile, during an earlier inspection of the Kano Isolation Centre, Ganduje promised to upgrade the Centre which took care of the suspected Lassa Fever cases few weeks back and prepared for any unwanted Corona Virus suspected case(s) that might crop up.
The Centre is situated at Yar Gaya, few kilometres away from Kano metropolis, in Dawakin Kudu local government.
He said "This Centre will be upgraded and will have more equipments that are of global standard. There is no mincing words in this."
Prior to his visit to Isolation Centre, Governor Ganduje was at the Malam Aminu Kano International Airport (MAKIA) where he also inspected screening facilities at that entry point, assuring that government would always support the good and proactive measures that were being taken by the Committee and other stakeholders.