The Imo State Government on Monday commenced community testing for Coronavirus to ascertain the status of people residing in the 27 Local Government Areas of the state.
The exercise was flagged off by Dr Damaris Osunkwo, the state Commissioner for Health at the Imo Specialist Hospital, Owerri on Tuesday.
Osunkwo said that the exercise is executed in collaboration with the KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation, a Holland based Non Governmental Organization (NGO) .
The commissioner appreciated the state governor, Sen. Hope Uzodinma for creating the enabling environment for healthy partnerships between the state and KNCV on the exercise.
Osunkwo thanked KNCV for considering Imo in the project and promised that the Primary Healthcare Coordinators (PHCs) in all LGAs would assist in the mass testing of the state.
She hinted that apart from testing for COVID-19, the health personnel would test people for ailments such as malaria, hepatitis, tuberculosis and hypertension.
” I thank Gov. Hope Uzodinma for showing leadership in a time of global challenge, as well as the KNCV for identifying with our dear state for the detection and treatment of Coronavirus and tuberculosis.
” Our PHCs in all the LGAs will support the exercise with the aim of ridding Imo of COVID-19 and other ailments”, she said.
Also speaking, the KNCV senior program officer in Imo, Dr Golibe Ugochukwu said that although the organisation before now has interest in the detection and cure of tuberculosis, it also expanded to COVID-19 test due to the similarity in the symptoms.
” The KNCV will use our mobile diagnostic unit known as Wellness On Wheels (WOW) to conduct integrated mass screening and testing for COVID-19 and tuberculosis.
” This is a community based intervention and we will be in Imo for two months during which period we intend to cover the 27 Local Government Areas of the state”, he said.
The flag off was attended by representatives of the World Health Organisation (WHO), Red Cross Society, United Nations International Children Education Fund (UNICEF) and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).