The Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, has stepped into the battle against Lassa fever, with the distribution of personal protective equipment and kits to state governments in the Niger Delta, especially those currently battling with the disease.
Speaking at the presentation of the equipment and kits to the Edo State government in Government House, Benin, the Acting Managing Director of NDDC, Mrs. Ibim Semenitari, explained that the donation was part of the Commission’s intervention to assist Edo, Rivers and Ondo States in their ongoing efforts to curb Lassa fever.
The NDDC boss, who noted that the Commission’s intervention was prompted by its concern about the relatively high occurrences of Lassa fever in the three states, said: “We will also be sending some kits to all the other states in the Niger Delta for preventive measures, so that if, for any reason, there is a spillover to these states, it will quickly be contained.”
On the day the NDDC Acting Managing Director spoke in Edo State, NDDC also donated 1,800 pieces of Lassa fever kits, cold chains and sanitizers to the Rivers State government. The presentation ceremony took place at the Rivers State Central Medical Stores, Port Harcourt.
Handing over the items on behalf of the NDDC Acting Managing Director, the Director of Education, Health and Social Services of the Commission, Mr. Seigha Glasgow, said that the Commission’s intervention in the health sector would cut across the nine states of the Niger Delta. He said that the donation of Lassa fever kits and storage facilities for vaccines were part of the efforts of the NDDC to support the fight against infectious diseases in the region.
The NDDC director said that the Commission would also donate mosquito nets to the ministry for the benefit of people in the rural areas, adding that it was necessary to collaborate with the state government to forge a collective front in addressing various health challenges.
Receiving the medical supplies, the Rivers State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Theophilus Odagme, thanked the NDDC for contributing to the provision of good healthcare services in the state. “Providing good healthcare is not just the business of state governments, it involves all stakeholders including the Federal Government,” he said.
The commissioner said that the medical supplies would help the state in managing cases of infectious diseases and not just Lassa fever. He further said that the cold chains would increase the capacity of the ministry to store vaccines and enhance its immunization activities.
“We want to explore more ways of collaborating with the NDDC in tackling health challenges in the state. The support we have been getting so far is encouraging and it strengthens our hands in delivering good healthcare services to our people,” Dr. Odagme said.