Covid-19: The Irony of Isolation Wards in Niger State

Covid-19: Isolation Wards in Niger State

Following numbers of preventive measures taken against the Pandemic Coronavirus by the government at all levels, the Niger State Government in its own strategy claimed to have positioned Isolation Wards in General Hospitals, across sone of the 25 Local Government Areas of the state, including an Isolation Centre in the state capital, Minna.

It also went ahead to circulate hotlines to contact in case of any suspicion around the state.

However, these reporters, Tori4Town correspondents, Mohammed Yakubu and Hamzat Ibrahim Abaga, try to unveil the real situation of the Isolation Wards as to whether they exist in all mentioned areas, and if they do, how effective are they.

In doing so, some of the hotlines are called to confirm the situation of the centres and the outcome indicated the irony revolving around the issue.

 

A few days back, the Niger State Government in a circulated statement on social media outlets, affirmed its relentless efforts in combating the outbreak of Coronavirus. In the circular, it was disclosed that ‘Personal Protective Equipments are available. Also, Isolation centre at General Hospital Minna has been strengthened while isolation wards have been established in all General Hospitals.

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Regarding this, the contact details of Disease Surveillance and Notification Officers (DSNO) across the 25 Local Government Areas (LGAs) were also shared with the public to call in case of any suspected outbreak.

True Nature Of The Covid-19 Isolation Wards in Niger State

In a phone call with the Surveillance Officer representing Lavun Local Government Area of the state, Shaba Dazhi, it was gathered that there is nothing like an Isolation ward in the LGA General Hospital.

In his words, he said ” General Hospitals are only for referral, it is the General Hospital in Minna that can handle the situation. If there is any reported case, the local hospitals would report to the Epidemiology Unit. Even during Lassa Fever’s case, that’s how we handled it”

“We don’t talk to journalists except by order from the state. So if there is any information you want, you can call the State Disease Surveillance and Notification Officer (DSNO)”, the Surveillance Officer representing Suleja LGA, Abdullahi Aboki, told the pressmen.

Attempts made to call the State DSNO all Avail to no success as the number attached to it from the circular failed to connect (it says: “the number is not assigned to a customer, please check the number and dial again”).
The same thing occurred with the number attached to the State Epidemiologist.

In Paikoro and Mokwa LGAs both being represented by Aliyu B. Adogo and Ahmed Idris, respectively, they affirmed that the government has put in place preventive measures to curb the menace.
Adogo of Paikoro conveyed that there is no isolation ward in the LGA General Hospital, but there is a better alternative if any case surfaces.

According to him, “for now Niger State, particularly Paikoro LGA, has no record of the virus, but should in case it surfaced, we are going to refer them to IBB Specialist Hospital in Chanchaga”

“IBB Specialist is still part of our province, it belongs to Paikoro LGA”, he said.

Whereas, Idris who is a representative of Mokwa, confirmed the Isolation Ward saying “the facility is in place” He further asked for Five minutes excuse to call us back which he refused to call and neither respond to our calls again.

Further investigation revealed that the ward in which he claimed to be in place at the LGA General Hospital was not there.
An Officer attached to Bosso Local Government, Isah K. Dogara, said he has no knowledge about the creation of the ward in his Local Government.

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In his statement “I’m yet to be notified about the ward here in Bosso, maybe they will get across to me by Monday, but for now, I’m not aware of me been a Disease Surveillance and Notification Officer (DSNO) of Bosso Local Government”

On the other hand, Buhari Mohammad, of Lapai Local Government said, “the centre is yet to be established in Lapai.

“I only know of the COVID-19 Team in the Local Government which I am the Disease Surveillance and Notification Officer (DSNO) of the area, but at this time, I am yet to hear or see if there is an Isolation Ward in Lapai General Hospital” he disclosed.

As for the case of Rijau Local Government, Mohammed Mashiri, when contacted said, “the DSNO team here can only refer the suspected cases to the State General Hospital in Minna, but we don’t have any Isolation Ward.

Also, the officer representing Bida Local Government, Baba Buhari, gave a diverse scenario stating “Bida Local Government team will make use of Isolation wards in Federal Medical Center(FMC)”.

Contrary to this, the officer representing Borgu Local Government, Ilyas Danmagani, said the Local Government’s Isolation Ward is in General Hospital in the headquarter of the Local Government, Newbussa.

“It is big, conducive and well-equipped for any suspected case” he stated.

Also in Wushishi Local Government Area, the Surveillance Officer, Ahmed S. Magaji said, “No Isolated ward, but I and my team are working seriously on creating awareness about the pandemic”

However, as at the time of filing this report the efforts to reach the DSNO contacts of several Local Government Areas proved abortive as their numbers were switched off, while others were unable to reach.

Meanwhile, the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Media, Yusuf Muawiya, in a phone conversation debunked the irony surrounding the Isolation Wards in Local Government Areas, maintaining that the local isolation wards are purposely meant for referral.

He said: “how many places do you think can handle the case in the whole Nigeria? In Abuja it is only Gwagwalada”

Speaking about the circulated phone contacts of Surveillance Officers across the LGAs, he stated “we also received some complaints about the numbers we circulated. Some people are finding it hard to reach their representatives which may be a network problem, because some of these LGAs are located in a remote areas”

“So, if that be the case, they can call the State Disease Surveillance and Notification Officer. About three or two numbers are attached to the State DSNO”

“Non-availability of these numbers might be due to network problem” he added.

Below is the disseminated circular by the State Government:

NIGER STATE COVID-19 HOT LINES | STAY SAFE STAY ALERT

Personal Protective Equipment are available.
Isolation centre at General Hospital Minna has been strengthened while isolation wards have been established in all General Hospitals.

Disease Surveillance and Notification Officers’ contact across the LGAs for notification and 24/7 update shared with the public to call in case of any suspected outbreak

(1) Isah k Dogari Bosso 08056378442 /09012024043

(2)Godwin Tolonu Gurara /07039666955

(3)Makeri Abu Peter /Tafa /
07044880001

(4)Hamza Idris Shiroro /
08058915557

(5)Elizabeth Auta Munya /
08078825691

(6)Musa Abdullah magama
08084459545

(7)Habibu. J.Ahmed Agwara
08093440649

(8)Garba b Mohammed K/Gora /08082243980

(9)Suleman Salihu. Mokwa
08038775454

(10)Mohammed Umar Gbako
08137353950

(11)Shaba Dazhi Lavun
08036863138

(12)Mohammed Maishiri
Rijau /08129904590

(13)Umar Ibrahim magama1
08084676263

(14)Baba buhari Bida
08067267485

(15)Ahmed Idris Mokwa 2
08068698492.

(16)Buhari Mohammed Lapai
07032369467

(17)Abdullah Aboki Suleja
09091585855

(18)Mohammed A. Isah Mashegu 2
08022825307

(19)Ayuba Musa. Mashegu1
08176758444

(20)Danladi Barde Chanchaga
09055249871

(21)Ilyas Danmagaji
Borgu1 08054501065

(22)Salisu Idris Baba
Borgu2 0810333361

(23)Bawa Garba Mariga 1
08082585724

24) Hamza Yusuf Rafi
08065964285

(25) Shehu Garba Erena
Shiroro 2 08053286219.

(26)Isah Shehu Mariga 2
08064888683

(27)Ahmed S. Magaji Wushishi 07085522445

(28)Sidi. Aliyu. Ndagi. Agaie
08115280814

(29)Aliyu. B. Adogo Paikoro 1
08051831346

(30)Abubakar Baba Sakpe
08032893794
08176758444

(31)Danladi Dogo Paikoro 2
09079171054

State DSNO: 0803 824 6018/ 090-930-93642
State Epidemiologist: 08077213070

 

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