•Says COVID-19 experience should not be forgotten

By Bashir Bello

KANO—Alarmed by the outbreak of Monkeypox virus in some states across Nigeria, Centre for Information Technology and Development, CITAD, has called on the Federal Government to urgently deploy appropriate measures to contain the spread.

The CITAD’s Coordinator, Public Education on COVID19 Vaccine Project, Hamza Ibrahim made the call weekend while addressing newsmen in Kano.

Ibrahim said the experience of COVID-19 is still fresh and should not be forgotten hence the need for the government to treat the monkeypox outbreak with public health urgency.

According to him, “Recently, monkeypox virus has been detected in some West and Central African countries igniting emergency crisis in public health. Health authorities have been up and doing in those countries trying to contain the spread of the virus. So far deaths have been recorded as measures to address the killer virus are being taken to put a stop to the new surge. In Nigeria, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has confirmed recording cases of the monkeypox in eight states including the Federal Capital Territory, FCT.

“The detection of the virus ought to be an alarm to particularly the NCDC and we want to at this point strongly call on the Centre to deploy active observatory mechanism across the federation with a view to containing further spread of the virus.

“The experience brought by the outbreak of COVID19 pandemic should not be forgotten, as such case confirmation of monkeypox in the country should be treated with the public health urgency and expertise it requires to be able to contain it.

“In doing so, we recommend that NCDC reviews its National Monkeypox Public Health Response Guidelines of 2019 to reflect deepening synergy with state governments in responding to suspected cases for proper detection, reporting and communication for quick actions.

“We equally, wish to urge NCDC to collaborate with state governments to devise means of educating the public on symptoms of the virus and measures to take when they notice people or animals around them with symptoms of the virus. The public enlightenment and awareness on the virus should involve use of indigenous languages and English to be able to appeal to all Nigerians.

“We again want the public to stay vigilant and support the initiatives that will be put in place to ensure public safety. We also call on the NCDC to step up the discharge of it’s mandate of monitoring, detection, confirmation and other roles regarding the virus. We want to end by calling on the federal government to develop and deploy relevant protocols across our land, sea and air borders with a view to containing transmission of the virus,” Ibrahim however stated.

Recall that states, where the outbreak were recorded according to NCDC, include, Adamawa with five cases, Lagos four, Bayelsa two, Delta two, Cross River two, FCT two, Kano two, Imo two, and Rivers one. Similarly, according to NCDC, of the 21 cases, death was reported in a 40-year-old patient who had underlying co-morbidity and was on immunosuppressive medications.

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