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Kaduna takes innovatory step in fight against COVID-19

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Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai. Photo: TWITTER/GOVKADUNA


Deploys Drones To Deliver Vaccines

Kaduna State Government has taken a major revolutionary step towards reversing the losses to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has cost the state 57 lives, as at Saturday, February 6.

According to statistics from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), 7804 persons have been infected with the virus in the state. While 7467 persons were treated and discharged, 280 cases are on admission. But the state government has signed a first-of-its kind innovatory Memoradum of Understanding with a private medical firm to deploy Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), better known as drone technology to deliver vaccines and other medical supplies to areas that may be difficult to penetrate due to challenging topography and bad roads.

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This method of procurement and distribution of vaccines and medications is a novelty in Nigeria pioneered by the Kaduna State Government. Other states are reportedly negotiating with the company to enter a similar working relationship. The clamour for the company’s services is influenced by the success rate of the medical delivery firm, Zipline, which has the distinction of having delivered more than one million doses of other vaccines in Africa over the past year.

The novel delivery of vaccines and other drugs in Kaduna is planned to start in the second quarter with 30 drones working full time from three distribution centres.

To accomplish this goal, Gov. Nasir El-Rufai said the state government has upgraded 255 primary health centres, installed a pharmagrade warehouse and is recruiting and training 3,000 officers to manage the facilities.

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“It will help ensure that millions of people in Kaduna State will always get the care they need.”

The Governor said the deployment of drone technology would ensure that medical consumables would be delivered to many parts of the state facing security challenges and a bad road network.

In December 2020, the Kaduna State Governor went into self-isolation after testing positive for COVID-19. As a survivor of the deadly disease, his willingness to deploy drone technology in the fight against COVID-19 ahead of other states and the Federal Government is a clear demonstration of empathy with victims and the love for his people.

Meanwhile, in renewed efforts to tackle COVID-19 alongside TB in Nigeria, WHO Nigeria in collaboration with the Kaduna State Government and KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation, co-facilitated implementation of an integrated community testing for the two disease using a mobile itinerant TB diagnostic facility called Wellness On Wheels Truck (WOW Truck).

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