From Sa’adatu MAINA, Damaturu
The Yobe State Government, In its effort to prevent the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the state, has adopted the contextual approach of partnering with communities to contain the spread of the virus.
Dr Muhammed Gana, the State Commissioner for Health and Committee Vice-Chairman of COVID-19 Prevention and Control stated this on Monday in Damaturu while engaging the community on the fight against the virus.
Gana said “Yobe Governor. Mai Mala Buni in his wisdom advised the committee to study the environment and focus more on partnering with the communities, making the communities understand the existence of the disease.
“And of course making the communities understand very well the responsibility towards preventing contracting the disease.
“One of such things is what we are doing here, engaging communities.”, he added.
Gana said the committee also recognised the need to adopt measures that would be effectively obtainable to the people of the state in containing the spread of the virus.
“We need to contextualise our approach so that we do not bring things from outside that may not be favourable to us here in Yobe state.
“Especially with the fact that we know the characteristics of our populations and the historical antecedents that we have had. And most importantly to avoid panicking people.”
He said, to control COVID-19 in the state, people had to individually make sure that they do the needful apart from what the government is doing.
”Government may not want to enforce certain drastic action on people. Because we have seen that is it not going to be too palatable in this environment.
“However, protection of the lives and wellbeing of people is one responsibility the government cannot leave out.”
He added that in modern public health, the best approach is to work with people so that people will understand the implication of certain things themselves.
The Commissioner said there is a need to always remember other health-related problems while addressing Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
“Yes we are dealing with COVID-19 but it does not rule out the fact that we have some other problems.
“The weather is not friendly for us, the heat is very intense, we are observing Ramadan fasting, there are dehydration and other things which are negative health implementations that also need to be considered.”, he stressed.
He emphasized the need for people to access healthcare services to know their healthcare status.
“Because one of the findings we have had after the investigation was that many people have other underlying illnesses.”, Gana said.
He pointed out some category of people that are more vulnerable, which according to him the virus creates a lot of problems on them including death.
“These people include the elderly, people that are of 55, 60 years and above, people that have underlying health problems such as diabetes, hypertension and other diseases that can affect the immune system,” he said.
In his remarks, the Emir of Damaturu, Alhaji Baba Shehu Hashimi in Umar Elkanemi said his emirate would continue to intimate Unions, Associations, religious and traditional leaders in the fight against coronavirus in the state.