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Covid-19: Anambra develops screening tool, trains 400

The Anambra state government has launched a major crackdown on Covid-19 by developing a new screening tool to help in early detection of cases and guide decisions on testing and treatment.

Commissioner of Health, Dr Vincent Okpala disclosed this during a one day training exercise for a group made up of 21 Local Government Transition Committee Chairmen, 326 ward Councillors, 30 Covid-19 market task force leaders and about a dozen ASATU women leaders.

Okpala said that the effort was geared towards equipping the participants with requisite knowledge and skill to train others at the grassroots to effectively embark on community sensitization, mobilization and education.

He said, “The exercise seeks to activate an aggressive Covid-19 awareness campaign at the grassroots and expand the scope of testing aimed at preventing the spread of the virus in the communities.

“The training will also afford them the technique for adequate contact-tracing.”

The Health Commissioner further revealed that the health ministry had developed a Covid-19 screening tool, stressing that “the beauty of this tool is that it is online and and it is also administered real-time”.

He said that the exercise presented opportunity to training participants on how to use the tool.

“Participants had hands-on training and each one of them had opportunity to review the online survey on their phones during the training. The ward Covid-19 task force members are expected to use this tool to gather information from ward residents during their daily household campaigns”.

Continuing, Dr Okpala stated that “the ministry will assign a graded index of suspicion based on scored (weighted) response from submitted forms. The resultant score will guide decisions on testing and early initiation of treatment”.

The current effort by the state government is as a result of the rising cases of Covid-19 in the state. In a recent broadcast, Governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano warned that Covid-19 cases would go up as the state ramps up testing. He however assured ndi Anambra that the state government has made adequate arrangements to contain the virus.

In the broadcast, Obiano noted that the state has “collected a total of 302 samples so far. Out of this figure, 230 results have been released to us while 72 results are still pending with the NCDC testing center. Out of the 230 results that have been released to us, 53 results returned positive, 13 patients have been discharged, 9 people have passed away while 31 cases are still active. In the meantime, 7 patients are in our Protective Care Center, receiving medical attention”.

The training exercise and the follow up campaign, identification of cases, testing and treatment, are positioned to drive the initiative.

“Early detection often results in successful treatment”, noted Okpala. “Our observations from recent cases in the state indicate that early presentation to the health-care system appears to be associated with positive outcome”, he concluded.

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