Enugu steps up surveillance against emerging diseases

By Charles Onyekwere, South-East Correspondent

Enugu State Government says it has stepped up surveillance against emerging and re-emerging diseases in localities and council areas.

Dr George Ugwu, Executive Secretary of Primary Health Care Development Agency (ENS-PHCDA), told newsmen on Sunday that disease surveillance officers at council areas had been sensitised and placed on alert on monkeypox.

Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) said in the month of May, only six new confirmed positive cases were reported from four states with Bayelsa (2), Adamawa (2), Lagos (1) and Rivers (1).

Ugwu noted that the step-up of surveillance was made going with the stance that Enugu State is a multi-bordered state – three states in the South-East region and two states in the North Central region.

According to him, we have retrained our local disease surveillance officers on symptoms and signs to watch out for emerging and re-emerging diseases. He said: “Monkypox have not been detected in Enugu State; but we are not resting on our oars since we are a multi-bordered state.

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“We have stepped up all perimeter of local disease surveillance against monkeypox, other emerging and re-emerging diseases in order to safe-guard the health of all in the state.

“However, we want our residents as well as individuals and families living in the state to up their personal and environmental hygiene and cleanliness levels. The issues of taking good care of one’s hygiene and observing those protocols of personnel and family hygiene as during the heat of COVID-19 especially that of regular hand washing and sanitising.

“Our people should also be careful on how they handle or touch home pets and animals since the disease is first transmitted from animal to human as well as infected human to another normal human.”

Ugwu noted that the agency, its affiliates and partners had also sharpened their response time to any suspected case of emerging and re-emerging diseases.

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