By Friday Idachaba
The Kogi Non-Governmental Organisations Network (KONGONET) has called on the state COVID-19 Squadron Committee to provide clarifications on the state’s COVID-19 status and end conflict between the state and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
Th KONGONET Chairman, Mr Idris Muraina, made the call on its 2nd Quarter 2020 statement on the state of affairs in the state released in Lokoja, on saturday
Muraina said the conflict was detrimental to the health of the people, noting that both the state government and NCDC were determined to save lives.
He said that COVID-19 had adversely affected all sectors of the nation’s economy and required collective efforts to curbs its spread.
He said the network admitted the existence of a committee put together by Kogi Government to provide guidance and direction on preventing the outbreak of the disease in the state.
“While the state government is yet to officially acknowledge COVID-19 cases in the state, the NCDC continues to stick to its guns that Kogi State has four COVID-19 cases.
“It is our hope that the state COVID-19 Squadron Committee will provide clarifications on the needless squabbles with NCDC.
“Both are set up to save lives. Who gets the trophy for the needless competition?
“We join the state government in the call on Kogi people to avoid panic and adhere to the protective guidelines as provided by the NCDC.
“We also hope the Squadron Committee, under the leadership of Chief David Edward Onoja, the Deputy Governor of Kogi State, will do the needful by implementing multiple sensitisation programmes,” he said.
Muraina noted that the state was witnessing much upgrade and construction of health facilities but noted that the level of attention provided for patients in government health facilities left more to be desired.
He said that civil societies working on health and wellbeing had reported that the state’s ministry of health’s annual budget in the past three years was not adequate.
He called for more spending on the state’s health sector.
”The coalition is trying to come to terms with the recent withdrawal of donor-agencies from the state, with the attendant unusual increase in public health challenges.
”It, therefore, calls on the Kogi Ministry of Health and, by extension, the state government to come up with strategies to stem tuberculosis.
“The epileptic release of funds to Kogi State Agency for the Control of Aids for planned activities still remains an issue unresolved, compounding the challenges of HIV/AIDS control in the state,” he said. (NAN)