Posted by News Express | 26 May 2021 | 303 times
By CHARLES IWUOHA
The Enugu State Government, on Wednesday, rolled out Pharmacists and Proprietary/Patent Medicine Vendors (PPMVs) COVID-19 Suspect Reporting Tool to strengthen early case detection and prevent further spread in communities.
The tool was developed by the Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) Pillar of the State Ministry’s Emergency Operations Centre.
Speaking at the presentation of the new tool to members of Community Pharmacists and PPMVs in Enugu, Commissioner for Health, Dr Ikechukwu Obi, said that the tool would greatly enhance early case detection of COVID-19 in the state.
Obi said that it would serve as a model that other states in the country might want to copy; in responding to the pandemic.
He expressed appreciation for the efforts made by the state’s IPC Pillar, to develop this tool newly and from human ingenuity.
Speaking on the significance of getting more stakeholders in the fight against COVID-19, Obi said that “the roles of Community Pharmacists and PPMV members are key to effective health care delivery in our communities’’.
“Since, they are usually the first port of call for sick community members,’’ he said.
The commissioner noted that the tool, which had been produced in booklet form, would be distributed free to Community Pharmacists and members of PPMVs in the state.
He noted that by this action, the Community Pharmacists and PPMVs had also been co-opted into the Local Government COVID-19 Rapid Response Team.
In his remarks, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr Ifeanyi Agujobi, noted that the production of the tool was a timely addition to the already laid down COVID-19 Infection Prevention and Control practices.
Agujobi, however, urged the Community Pharmacists and PPMVs to make good use of the tool.
Dr Eddy Ndibuagu, State Infection Prevention and Control Focal Person, who took Community Pharmacists and PPMVs through the use of the tool, explained that NCDC case definition for COVID-19 suspect was used in developing the tool.
Ndibuagu said: “The tool essentially, is used in identifying COVID-19 suspects early, and preventing them from spreading the infection in the community. This is a form of triaging.
“The Community Pharmacists and PPMVs are encouraged to set aside a place where these identified suspects can be kept, while the Local Government Disease Surveillance and Notification Officer (DSNO) and the State Emergency Operations Centre are alerted’’.
In a goodwill message, Dr Ada Erinne, WHO Coordinator in South-eastern States, lauded the state government for coming out with an initiative to deepen the containment of COVID-19.
Erinne noted that the initiative would definitely involve more stakeholders in the fight against the virus at the community level in the state.
“It is good that these two critical stakeholders on health at the local and community levels are brought in to broaden and strengthen the fight against the pandemic for more effective results,’’ Erinne said.
Mr Ken Amafidegbe, the Secretary of Community Pharmacists, Enugu State Branch, noted that most countries that had fought COVID-19 successfully had to think outside the box.
“With this tool, which is a product of thinking outside the box, I believe better and more results will start coming,’’ Amafidegbe said.
Chief Cyprian Ekpete, President of PPMVs Enugu State, assured the government and other stakeholders that PPMVs would comply to safeguard the health of all.
“We will work in active partnership with the government, health partners and other stakeholders in order to use this new tool effectively,’’ Ekpete assured.
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