By Stephen Adeleye.
The Kogi State Government has inaugurated the state research team to monitor and investigate the effect, adverse reactions and level of tolerance of COVID-19 vaccine.
The state’s Commissioner for Health, Dr Saka Haruna Audu, who inaugurated the research team shortly after the flag-off of COVID-19 vaccination in Lokoja, said the team would carry out research on some few areas of attention regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.
Audu noted that the team members, who are specialists drawn from various profession in the health sector, would investigate reasons why Kogi State had been relatively spared from the COVID-19 pandemic.
He added that the team would also monitor the utilisation of COVID-19 vaccines while also looking at the adverse reactions that might follow the vaccination exercise, and come up with a report on that.
According to him, even though there is Federal agency that is already doing that, but for us as a state, health is on the concurrent list, and it is part of our resolves to ensure that the people of Kogi are safe and their well-being is paramount to us.
The Commissioner added that the other area where the team would work on, was the usefulness of the Hydroxyl Chloroquine, Zinc and the Mectizan, and make recommendations that could positively affect Kogi State.
He stressed that the State had been very proactive, and was the first state to bring a novel idea on the COVID-19 self assessment app and also demonstrated the usefulness of rapid test kits for quick assessment.
He added that Kogi had rejected those imported foreign strategies that do not work in Nigeria’s terrain, which could had imprisoned Kogi people such as the lockdown and restrictions of economic activities, among others.
“These are areas where Kogi has really excelled. Kogi has been on top of the situation as far as the prevention and control of COVID-19 is concerned.
“We are also leading in terms of health infrastructural development so that we can cope with any outbreak in the process.
“We are building two massive infectious disease hospitals; one in Ajaokuta and the other one in Kogi LGA. We have ultra modern referral centre that is arguably the best hospital in Nigeria, which is in the making.
“We have the reference hospital in Okene. We are also revamping the existing health facilities, like the Specialist Hospital, Lokoja, Zonal Hospital Idah, Teaching Hospital Anyigba, and the General Hospital Isanlu.
“This is what we are doing in the health sector not forgetting our highly impactful healthcare programmes like Bello Care, Healthcare Plus, and the renewed mission in the State Health Insurance Agency,” he said.
The Commissioner emphasized that the state was doing a lot in implementing the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund of the Federal Government and was expanding the reach.
He added: ”Kogi State is contributing beyond the 25 per cent mark specified by the FG so that the project can be accessed by more of our people.
“Our intension is to accelerate our match towards attainment of the Universal Health Coverage in Kogi State and by extension Nigeria”.