…As Gov, Mohammed approves N85m for service upgrade

BY ADEYEMI AKANJI, BAUCHI – Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State has said that the state government spends more than N15 million every two weeks for contact tracing and surveillance, cases management, risks communication, infection prevention and coordination in the bid to check spread of COVID-19 pandemic.

The governor, who announced this while commissioning the State Reference Modular Laboratory Center, situated within the premises of the State Specialist Hospital, Bauchi on Monday, also approved the immediate release of N85million for the upgrade of services for the Center. 

Governor Mohammed said the funds is to enable the centre conduct tests on Yellow Fever, Lassa fever and other Hemorrhagic Fevers among other diseases. 

Mohammed said that the certification of the Molecular Laboratory by the NCDC will significantly reduce the waiting time for result of sample tests thereby improving efficiency.

The governor said the strategies adopted by the State in the fight against COVID-19 is yielding positive results.

The Governor further said; “I emphasize that, this Molecular Laboratory is one of our cardinal strategies in combating the spread of COVID-19 and Lassa fever outbreaks in the state.

“This laboratory was established under a joint partnership with the Bauchi State Government, the North-East Development Commission and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control. Bauchi State Government provided funding for the construction of the building and procurement of furniture and power supply,” he explained. 

Mohammed assured that his administration will remain committed towards the provision of qualitative healthcare services to the citizens of the state through construction and renovation of health facilities across the state. 

He said the administration will also prioritize the welfare of frontline health workers in the state so as to tackle the challenges facing the sector and ensure effective service delivery.

“I must specifically commend the Managing Director of the North East Development Commission for showing empathy with Bauchi State by lending his full weight and support to this initiative. This is the spirit of the North-East”.

Mohammed expressed gratitude to the Commission for its palliative support to the state government in addition to the equipment provided for the smooth operation of the laboratory. 

Managing Director of the North East Development Commission, Alhaji Mohammed Alkali reaffirmed the readiness of the Commission to support not only Bauchi state, but all states in the region to tackle the spread of COVID-19 and other challenges that required support.

Alkali said the support of the commission to the state government at this critical period of Coronavirus is to assist the state to manage the virus.

Representatives of World Health Organisation, UNICEF and other Development partners, who spoke at the commissioning ceremony described the laboratory as one of the best in the country and pledged their support for the sustenance of the centre. 

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