From Musa Sunusi Ahmad

Zamfara State Executive Governor, Hon Dr. Bello Mohammed MON (Matawallen Maradun) has launched the largest zero-contact testing centre in Nigeria, in order to significantly increase the testing capacity and protect health workers who are the front line soldiers in the corona virus raging war,

Governor Matawalle said provision of the new state of the art facilities is in furtherance of his administration’s firm resolve to rid the state of the global scourge with an initiative that is guaranteed to improve the testing capacity of the virus in line with the World Health Organization’s recommendations in order to regularly test and isolate COVID-19 patients in the state and its neighbours.

He described the intervention as part of the broader strategy put in place by the Zamfara State Government, in expeditious response to the pandemic that unsettles our world through the disruption of our social and economic activities, spike in mortality rate and general exacerbation of global health challenges.

In a statement signed by the state Director General, Media, Public Enlightenment and Communication, Yusuf Idris Gusau, noted that with the sample collection booths, the state government will be cutting costs by achieving more with less as it had become difficult and economically unsustainable to justify using new Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to test each patient, especially with the global scarcity of the vital equipment as the booth pays for itself within 5 to 7 days due to cost savings on the purchase of PPE. This equally ensures timely delivery of collected samples because the booth can be deployed in border towns and remote areas.

He explained that in post COVID – 19, the sample collection booths can be converted into telemedicine booths, an innovation that is poised to boost the people’s access to healthcare and their overall wellbeing, especially in the hinterlands of the state.

He said, to date, Zamfara remains one of the states with the best approach to containing COVID-19, having built an ultramodern isolation centre from start to finish within two weeks; procured more PPEs; acquired six (6) PCR machines, disinfectants/decontaminations machines, disinfection tunnels, sample collection Booths, making it fit for the NCDC to comfortably set-up multiple molecular laboratories, a situation which accords the state to boast of having one of the best COVID – 19 recovery statistics in the country.

He further stated that following several years of palpable neglect in the health and other sectors in the state, his administration made concerted effort to address the situation including the provision and upgrading of the health institutions; procurement of ambulances in all the 17 General Hospitals in the state; construction of 147 comprehensive healthcare facilities across all the 147 Wards; procurement of 147 tricycles to all the 147 comprehensive healthcare centers; revival of state drug revolving programmes amongst others.

He said his government which is concerned with the provision of clean drinking water and hygienic environment amidst insecurity, is ever ready and determined to change all those narratives going forward.

He then used the occasion to seek for the support, collaboration and sustainable cooperation of all stakeholders, especially the Federal Government of Nigeria and International Development Partners to join hands with Zamfara State as it strives to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic and bring sustainable development and growth.

Conducting the Governor round the sample collection booths, Managing Director of Flying Doctors Health Care Group Investment Limited, Dr Ola Browns said the Sample collection booths have the capacity of collecting 70 samples in an hour and is the largest Non- Contact testing centre in Nigeria.

She stated that the facility has hundred percent protection from direct Contact with all suspected cases.

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