The Delta State Government has lauded the support from international and local based organisations for their initiatives and response activities to address the outbreak of yellow fever in the state.
The Delta State Commissioner for Health, Dr Mordi Ononye gave the commendation when he received officials of the Nigeria Institute of Medical Research (NIMR), Lagos and Medecins Sans Frontiere (Doctors Without Borders), Spain who came to assist the State to curb the disease at the weekend.
According to the Commissioner, “the presence of Nigeria Institute of Medical Research, South-South Regional office located in Asaba has not been in vain as its technical expertize will be of great help in finding solution to the current yellow fever out break in the State”.
He urged the officials to feel free as they go about their activities across the length and breadth of the State as they carry out their assessments.
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“Indeed we are beginning to enjoy the presence of NIMR outstation in Asaba and knowing the benefits that will accrue to us as a people, we will ensure we meet up with the memorandum of understanding between us for a healthier collaboration, ” Ononye added.
He stated that the state has taken note of issues raised after his interaction with the Institute and promised greater co-operation in whatever may be needed to succeed in the initiative that they are bringing to the State.
Ononye informed the visitors that the State had earlier scheduled a mass campaign on vaccination before the mysterious deaths related to yellow fever.
Earlier, Prof Rosemary Audu, Team Leader, Nigeria Institute of Medical Research, Lagos, informed the Commissioner that they were in the state because of the yellow fever outbreak and also to know how the Institute can partner with the State for the purpose of research.
According to her “as an initial response we will collaborate with the State University which will involve the collection of mosquito samples to try to characterize them with the view to know if it’s the same mosquitoes that are transmitting the disease and help control them”.
She added that since the disease is now becoming a recurrent thing, the mosquitoes’ research will be an annual thing with the view to understanding the pattern of spread and it’s control.
On his part, Dr Richard Mathek, Coordinator Medecins Sans Frontiere – MSF (Doctors without Borders), Spain explained that his organisation visit any location where there are issues that requires external support hence with the out break of yellow fever in Nigeria they have sent in support.
He revealed that they have MSF in Spain, Belgium, France, Neithelands, and Switzerland from where they coordinate and provide support as much as possible to places where there are health challenges.
“Based on information that we have received, MSF Belgium is in Enugu, MSF France went to Bauchi, MSF Holland is in Benue while MSF Spain is in Delta State, ” Mathek added.
He further said “our mission in Delta State is to assess the communities, and health facilities to know what efforts have been made and challenges encountered with the view to be able to know what support MSF can give in curbing the disease.
The MSF, Spain Coordinator said that they have teams abroad that specialized on emergencies hence after the visit and assessment, if the need arises they can call for additional support.