World Health Organisation (WHO) in conjunction with the Benue State government has re-launched COVID-19 Response, in three key areas to reactivate citizens response and behavioural change towards the pandemic. This is even as it has been revealed that only 60,000 people have received the second dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
The state incident manager, COVID-19 Dr Terungwa Ngishe disclosed that only 60,000 people have so far received the first and second doses of AstraZeneca vaccine.
WHO representative Dr Israel Popoola listed the three areas of support to include, surveillance, laboratory and risk communication, explaining that under surveillance, the organisation will make sure that testing is revamped and reactivated.
He maintained that under the laboratory response, WHO will ensure that samples collected from various collation centres in all the 23 local governments across the state are taken to the two testing centres at the NAF Base Hospital and Federal Medical Centre both in Makurdi the state capital.
He said, “The risk communication response will cover sensitisation of market women, market leaders, associations, worship centres, internally displaced persons camp, refugee camps, as well as the vulnerable population.”
The state incident manager, COVID-19, Dr Terungwa Ngishe commended the state government for its efforts in curtailing the spread of the disease since its outbreak in the state, saying the COVID-19 team has noticed with dismay a situation where majority of the Benue population have relaxed in observing the coronavirus protocols, following misinformation and misconception in some quarters and appealed for attitudinal change.
Dr Ngishe also disclosed that since the outbreak of the disease last year, the state has tested about 15,000 patients out of which 1366 tested positive a figure he described as small considering the population of the state.
Earlier, the representative of civil society organisations in Benue State, Dr Helen Tegh-Tegh promised to support WHO to succeed in the vision and mission of assisting the state to get rid of the pandemic.