COVID-19: WHO asks FCT minister to be awake

By Daniel Tyokua

The World Health Organization (WHO) has reminded the minister of Federal Capital Territory, Malam Muhammad Bello to be conscious of coronavirus pandemic in the territory till the effective vaccine is found.

The new country representative of the World Health Organization (WHO) for Nigeria, Dr Walter Kazadi Mulombo stated this when he led a delegation of officials of the Organization on a courtesy visit to the minister.

He urged the minister not to sleep over measures that could defeat COVID-19, as he called for continued vigilance from the populace until a vaccine is developed.

In a statement issued on Wednesday by Anthony Ogunleye, Chief Press Secretary to the minister, Mulombo said, “COVID-19 is here to stay with us for some time until we find an effective vaccine. But until then, the Hon. Minister, you need to remain vigilant.

“The only tool here is non-pharmaceutical intervention. I’m happy to see that we are wearing face masks.

“It’s very important that we continue to adhere to those principles of social distancing because the other tools are being experimented. So, we need to make sure that what we are seeing, the downward decline in cases actually translates the truth of what is going on in the communities” he said.

The WHO representative also called for a collaboration between his organization and the FCTA for the effective control of the disease and its effects both on the health and economic sides.

Though he commended the FCT Administration for its role in the eradication of polio in Nigeria which he said has paved the way for the entire African continent being certified as polio free.

He pledged the support of the WHO to the FCTA in its efforts at ensuring that as many residents as possible are enrolled in the FCT Health Insurance Scheme.

His words: “we have your agenda as our preoccupation. Your priorities are our priorities. We want to continue to support the FCT until such a time that everybody benefits from universal health coverage”

On his part, minister of the FCT, Malam Muhammad Bello told Mulombo that the FCT Administration has always enjoyed a very close working relationship with the World Health Organisation and wished the new country director a successful tenure in the country.

He said that whatever successes the Administration had achieved in the sector was also due to the collaborative efforts with the WHO and remarked that the priority of the FCTA in the health sector was the development of the Primary health care system.

Bello called on WHO to assist in the areas of capacity building in ensuring that primary healthcare centers are self-sustaining with improved funding and better legislation.

Some Officials present at the meeting were the Permanent Secretary, FCTA, Mr Olusade Adesola, the Chief of Staff to the FCT Minister, Malam Bashir Mai-Bornu, Ag Secretary for Health, Dr Mohammed Kawu, the FCT WHO Office Coordinator, DR Fureatu Zakari and other officials of the FCTA and WHO.

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