The Chairman of the COVID-19 Taskforce response team in Cross River State and the Commissioner for Health, Dr Betta Edu yesterday met with the commissioner for Local Government Affairs Hon Stella Odey and the 18 Local Government Chairmen at the Ministry of Local Government affairs in calabar in a long technical session to discuss their new roles in the decentralized response strategy to COVID-19 in the state.
The Commissioner for Health who congratulated them on their emergence as chairmen and the drive with which most of them have hit the ground running in their various LGA; introduced the new decentralization strategy for the response to COVID -19.
The discussion centered on the Local Government Chairmen calling together the already existing COVID-19 Taskforce and Rapid Response team in their LGA to a proper coordinated response directly supported by the chairmen. She tasked them to hold health workers in their LGAs and the rapid response team accountable for sensitization, sample collection, sample transportation, point of entry protection and contact tracing.
Dr Edu also used the same medium to advocate that chairmen and their cabinet members should actively supervise the health facilities and health workers in their LGA and support them as part of the lasting Legacies they can leave behind since everyone needs health care. She called for support to primary health care, Immunisation program and other safe motherhood activities that if not given proper attention may lead to death of people in communities.
Finally she called for the support from JAC for the reactivation of the Drug Revolving Fund in all LGAs in the state while assuring the LGA chairmen of better results with the sensitization campaigns going on in their respective LGA and her presence to Boost the advocacy.
In response the chairmen praised the Governor and the Commissioner for Health for the excellent proactive manner that the have handled the COVID-19 response in the state. Chairman Ogoja asked for an ambulance to support the isolation center in General Hospital Ogoja while commending the commissioner for the prompt response in Ogoja incident case especially on the lines of contact tracing, decontamination of affected facilities and sample collection from contact. He thanked her for the ongoing trainings to increase the number of hands that can collect sample and do contact tracing.
Yala Chairman sort for restructuring of the Taskforce at the LGA and improved funding at the grassroots to support wider sensitization. Akampa LGA chairman asked for support to strengthen the borders team to resist Cameroon refugees from coming into the state through Akampa. Bakassi and Boki asked for construction of General Hospitals in their LGAs while building capacity of the health workforce to manage other illnesses aside COVID-19.
The Commissioner For Local Government Hon Stella Odey, thanked the Commissioner for health for the engagement noting that her ministry will support the LGAs to live up to expectations as all hands are on deck to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic