Enugu State Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi has reaffirmed his administration’s commitment to following Federal Government guidelines and international best practices in the fight against Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19).
At the Government House in Enugu, Gov. Ugwuanyi inaugurated members of the Enugu State Project Steering Committee of the Nigeria COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Project (Co-PREP).
The governor, represented by Prof. Simon Uchenna Ortuanya, Secretary to the State Government (SSG), disclosed that the committee will oversee the implementation of Co-PREP projects at the state level, as well as review and approve the state’s Incident Action Plan (IAP) for transmission to the Project Coordinating Unit (PCU).
Prof. Ortuanya added that the steering committee, chaired by Commissioner for Health Dr Emmanuel Ikechukwu Obi, will also review progress reports and supervise the State Coordinating Unit (SCU) to ensure the project is implemented on time and to “ensure that financing from Nigeria Co-PREP complements financing from other sources and is efficiently utilized.”
He noted that while Enugu, like other states, has faced significant challenges since the pandemic’s outbreak, the SSG noted that Gov. Ugwuanyi’s administration has “built five COVID-19 isolation and treatment centers, established a 100-bed-space isolation center at the Enugu Medical Diagnostic Centre, and constructed an Infectious Diseases Specialist Hospital.”
Prof. Ortuanya stated that Enugu State requires additional health facilities to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. He added that the state government has continued to collaborate with the NCDC and development partners to ensure the availability of adequate infrastructure for timely case detection and management, as well as to strengthen the public health and clinical workforce’s capacity.
“As a result of the foregoing, the World Bank has approved a $114.28 million loan to assist Nigeria in preventing, detecting, and responding to the threat posed by COVID-19, with a particular emphasis on state-level responses.
This includes a credit of $100 million from the International Development Association (IDA) and a grant of $14.28 million from the Pandemic Emergency Financing Facility.
Through the COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Project (Co-PREP), the Nigerian government will provide immediate assistance to 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in order to break the chain of COVID-19 local transmission and to contain and mitigate Coronavirus spread.
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“Through the provision of technical expertise, coordination support, detection, diagnosis, and case management efforts in all states and the FCT, Co-PREP will strengthen institutional and operational capacity for disease detection in accordance with World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines in the Strategic Response Plan.
“It will also assist the government in mobilizing surge response capacity through trained and equipped frontline healthcare workers, as well as strengthening the public healthcare network in preparation for future health emergencies,” he added.
Mrs Adaorah Kene-Uyanwune (Commissioner for Finance); Dr David Okelue Ugwunta (Commissioner for Budget and Planning); Nnayelugo Chidi Aroh (Commissioner for Information); Prof. Ed. Nwobodo (Representative State COVID-19 Task Force); Dr Ifeanyi Agujiobi (Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health); and Dr Boniface Okolo (Commissioner (Emergency Operation Centre Incident Manager, State Ministry of Health).
Dr George Ugwu (Executive Secretary, Enugu State Primary Healthcare Development Agency (ENSPHCDA); Dr Edith Okolo (Executive Secretary, Enugu State Agency for Universal Health Coverage); Dr Ada Erinne (Representative of the World Health Organization); and Dr Ifeyinwa Anyanyo (Representative of the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund) are also members of the committee.
Dr Obi, Chairman of the Committee, responded by commending Gov. Ugwuanyi for his tenacity in establishing the committee in support of his administration’s concerted efforts to contain the virus in the state.
The Health Commissioner expressed gratitude to the governor for selecting them for the assignment and pledged that they would not disappoint the government or the people of the state.
In his remarks, the Commissioner for Information, Aroh, reaffirmed Gov. Ugwuanyi’s unwavering efforts to combat the pandemic and pledged the committee members’ readiness to carry out their mandate.