The Honourable Commissioner for Health and the Kogi state Covid-19 response Squad met with members of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), who are on a special mission to the state.

The Health Commissioner, Dr Saka Haruna Audu welcomed the team to the state, and stated that their coming is a great opportunity to rekindle a robust relationship. He mentioned that the state has had a good working relationship with the NCDC. The Kogi state Commissioner for Health is the first Commissioner of Health in Nigeria to have visited the incumbent Director General of the NCDC with the entire Public Health team in Abuja. This visit, the Director General of the Centre reciprocated by the establishment of the Public Health Emergency Operation Centre in Lokoja, which was commissioned in 2018.
The Commissioner whom has in the past few weeks had discussions with the leadership of the presidential task force (PTF) and the DG NCDC that has resulted to NCDC’s invitation to Kogi, noted that a lot of misinformation was widely reported in the past, but he’s glad the NCDC team will see the reality themselves.
He noted that Covid-19 requires a national response, hence the need for every state to approach the situation to suit her peculiarities. He said that Kogi has been innovative in her approach, and some of her legacies have been adopted by the Federal Ministry of Health, state governments and even the NCDC.
The Commissioner also highlighted the proactive efforts of His Excellency, the Governor of Kogi state including the inauguration of a Covid-19 Squadron and funding the state response activities.
The Kogi state epidemiologist, Dr Austin Ojotule also presented a breakdown of the Kogi state Covid-19 response activities from March till date.

In their remarks, the NCDC team lead appreciated the Kogi state Government for their wonderful reception and the job done so far. He said that Kogi state is strategic and important in the activities of the NCDC. The team lead said that the lessons learned at their earlier visit to the state shows that Governor Yahaya Bello is well informed about the disease. He stated that their sole purpose of coming is to support the incident management structure of Kogi state and to set up more molecular laboratories with PCR across the state to enhance testing.

Among other things discussed at the meeting is the clarification that national response is not synonymous with federal response, and with the magnitude of challenges brought by Covid-19 pandemic in Nigeria, all parties need to work to together and the peculiarities of states must reflect in these responses.
Observations were raised and discussed with the team.

The meeting was also attended by other team members of the Kogi State Incident Management Structure, the State Coordinator for WHO amongst others.
The NCDC team shall spend two weeks in the state.


Anthony Edogbo
Emergency Operations Centre