Kano State has begun to enjoy the fruit of its new-found partnership with the federal government as 300 of its health workers have been trained on COVID-19 management by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and other partners.
The state government has also mobilised 5,000 volunteers, including retired doctors and nurses in the push to curb the rampaging virus that has infected 576 and killed 18 persons in the state.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Abba Anwar, quoted the head of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 in Kano State, Dr. Nasiru Gwarzo, as saying the nature of the pandemic in the state had now been understood and that the government was prepared to scale up its management. “We now know the problems and the solutions for Kano,” Gwarzo was quoted to have said.
He reportedly added: “We are able to train many people in the management of COVID-19 in the state. This, we are doing with other capable partners, that are known very well in that field. It is encouraging to know that, the calibre of trainees in Kano will support not only Kano but other states.”
Anwar said Gwarzo spoke at the weekend while receiving Governor Abdullahi Ganduje at Babale Suites, Kano, where the training of health workers by the task was holding.
He said the governor paid the visit alongside members of the State Task Force on COVID-19 and other members of the State Executive Council.
He said the task force head advised the people to be restrained in their interpretation of their situation, explaining that, “Steps need to be followed and people should know that you just cannot wake up tomorrow and see all that you want in dealing with such health problems. But the fact that we now know these problems and solutions, we are making headways.”
On improving the capacity of non-health workers, he said the trained personnel would also train cleaners in health facilities, as well as food handlers, and hospitals’ security men among others.
“We also trained hoteliers and their workers on disease control, particularly infectious diseases,” he said, adding: “We are appreciative of His Excellency’s commitment towards handling this pandemic. We are as well praying that may Allah preserve you to continue with the good work you are doing.”
Gwarzo commended the efforts of the state government in providing items like personal protective equipment (PPEs), hand wash, sanitizers, customized tap buckets, and other items. “Kano is doing the needful against this global pandemic,” he said.
Anwar also quoted Prof. Abdusalami Nasidi, the envoy of the Minister of Health on COVID-19 in Kano State as explaining, “We trained 300 workers since we arrived as Ministerial Task Force and another team, Presidential Task Force on COVID-19. Out of them, 119 are doctors and nurses. We are targeting 600 workers.”
He said the envoy was impressed with the size of health workers with Masters in Public Health in the state.
“Kano State has the largest number of health workers with Masters in Public Health. So Kano doesn’t have a problem with manpower. Ours is just to reposition the manpower. This is what we are doing now,” Nasidi was quoted to have said, assuring that before they leave the state, they would make sure that all the isolation centres are manned by highly qualified hands.
Responding to the experts Ganduje reportedly said, “We are grateful that you provided advocacy, facilities, consumables, and others. But all these are not workable if we don’t have the capacity. This is what you are providing now.”
Ganduje thanked President Muhammadu Buhari and Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, for the good and timely intervention, saying: “We are thankful to President Muhammadu Buhari and Honourable Minister of Health for coming to our aid to fight this menace.”
The governor said the state had recruited 5,000 volunteer medical workers to tackle the pandemic.