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Covid-19: ECOWAS health body, WAHO, gear up for epidemiology response

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By Joseph Erunke

Coronavirus

ABUJA–WEST African Health Organisation, WAHO,said it had begun preparedness for epidemiology response capacity to Coronavirus.
The ECOWAS regional health body said it was putting in place modalities to build epidemiology capacity for outbreak response with a view to bridging preparedness gaps.
The organisation disclosed this at a two-day simulation exercise to strengthen regional preparedness and readiness capacities to Covid-19 epidemic in West Africa, WAHO Regional Centre for Surveillance & Disease Control,RCSDC, sponsored by the Africa Union Centre for Disease Control (Africa CDC) in Abuja.

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Regional coordinator, Nigeria and Anglophone West Africa, African Field epidemiology Network, Dr. Patrick Nguku, explained at the event that the meeting was convened to find out the preparedness level of member states to the challenge.
According to him,there were gaps that the meeting needed to identify specifically so that WAHO tackle.
“There are already existing gaps; our labs are not working, our surveillance system are not adequate, we don’t have enough personnel in the hospitals and there are no isolation centres. So there are gaps.
Nguku said:“The ability to report case depend on the capability of the country. How is the surveillance system, human resources, clinical system and lab? It is relevant to determine what the gaps are in our preparedness. This is the time and i think the meeting will come up with specific gaps that member state will be ready to address.”

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