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Akwa Ibom mulls establishment of disease control coordination centre

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An Epidemiologist at the Akwa Ibom State Ministry of Health and Chairman, Committee on the Nigerian Medical Association Physicians Week, Dr. Aniekeme Uwah, has disclosed that a Coordination Center for Disease Control would soon be established in the state.

He disclosed this yesterday in Uyo, while speaking with journalists in his office on preparations for the NMA Week to be held in Ondo State this weekend.

Uwah, who stressed that the Physicians’ Week with the theme, “Care for the Unknown Patient” and sub-theme, “Curbing Increasing Suicide in Nigeria,” noted that with the increasing trend in recent times, doctors thought that bringing experts together from different fields would produce solution and advise that could help discourage those who may want to attempt suicide.

As one of the medical personnel trained to handle Ebola disease said arrangements are in place to house the center in the state, explained that, the center would help to boost the surveillance and control of diseases especially outbreaks.

With a surveillance network already available to check outbreak of diseases in the 31 council areas, he disclosed that, Akwa Ibom State has made efforts in controlling many diseases from breaking out and becoming an epidemic.

He added that about 41 priority diseases were being monitored for epidemic outbreak, marked for elimination and as diseases of public health importance.

“The state government is already training health workers on emergency response to build up manpower for emergency situations through its relationship with the African Union (AU) and United Nations (UN). As a result, many doctors and nurses have been trained on diseases surveillance, control and case definitions.

“The benefits derived from our relationship with the AU and UN has been mainly in the areas of training. I have been able to get a number of our people trained on epidemiology and disease surveillance, among others. We have been able to partner with different NGOs and have trained people in infection, prevention and control.

“We have partnered with the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and we had a number of doctors trained on frontline field epidemiology based on funds available. It enabled our doctors to know how to respond to outbreak, investigate outbreak, do a report on outbreak and know the diseases we are watching out for and also know about case definitions,” he said.

Uwah further explained that the association had attracted support to the state mainly in the area of manpower development, adding: “Right now we are discussing with the NCDC to also open up a coordination centre in Uyo and very soon that would be concluded because we need to have a house centre here.”

He said the Physicians Week would have the Ondo State Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu as Special Guest while the keynote Speaker would be a professor of Forensic Pathology at the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital (OAUTH), Williams Odesanmi.


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