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WHO rates Enugu high in recent epidemic, pandemic response

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The World Health Organisation (WHO) has rated Enugu State health system high in the handling of the recent epidemic, pandemic and response in the state.

The Country Preparedness and International Health Regulations (IHR) Officer, WHO Nigeria, Dr. Ibrahim Mamadu, stated this, yesterday, in Enugu at the ongoing sub-national Health Security Assessment of International Health Regulations (IHR) Core Capacities.

The four-day assessment workshop was sub-themed: “Strengthening Epidemic Preparedness Across Nigeria.’’Mamadu said the state had done well in recent time in containing Lassa fever, Yellow fever and COVID-19 pandemic.

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He said there was a need to build on present capacity to ensure adequate preparedness against outbreak of diseases. He said: “Enugu State has been up and doing as well as pro-active in recent time on zoonotic diseases, Yellow fever and COVID-19 pandemic.

“However, the state needs to build up its capacity and synergy of workers in health, agriculture and environment to prevent disease outbreak, and that is what this workshop is here to achieve.”

Also speaking, a Deputy Director of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr. Oyaladun Okunromade, lauded Enugu State for always supporting health partnerships and improvement for the betterment of people.

Okunromade said that the health security assessment, being first of its kind in Africa, would enable the state to know its strength and weakness in the health, agriculture and environment sectors as it concerns bio-security.

“After the assessment and presentation of the recommendation, as well as its implementation, the health, agriculture and environment indices in Enugu State will improve, and there will be better preparedness to check disease outbreaks,’’ she said.

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In the same vein, the State Epidemiology Officer, Dr. Cosmas Okeke, said that the state had agricultural epidemiology in its 17 local councils.

Okeke said that it had helped to keep incidences of zoonotic (animal) diseases low and response time faster. He, however, said the major challenge facing his agriculture ministry was that of synergy among the health, environmental and agriculture epidemiologists in the state.

The State Epidemiologist (Health), Dr. Chinyere Ezeudu, said the workshop would help the state achieve one-health initiative of WHO and NCDC.

Ezeudu said it would also foster better synergy among diseases managers in the health, agriculture and environment ministries.Earlier, the state’s Commissioner for Health, Prof. Ikechukwu Obi, said the workshop would definitely lead to better bio-security in the state, and ensure proper advocacy on areas that needed improvement in the health sector. Obi said the world was currently being harassed by issues of health, and the human race being troubled by micro-organisms.

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