FG, WHO train groups on emergency response in Yobe


The federal ministry of health supported by the World Health Organisation (WHO) has commenced training on Strengthening and Utilising Response Groups for Emergencies (SURGE) in Yobe.

Dr Godwin Ntadove, chief consultant epidemiologist, federal ministry of health, on Monday in Damaturu said the essence of the programme was to build the capacity of health workers within communities.

He said it would also provide infrastructure to address all sorts of emergencies effectively.

Mr Ntadove said the pilot programme was going to be carried out in one state from each of the six geo-political zones of the federation.

“The emergencies do not give warnings. In 2014 there was an outbreak of Ebola virus in West Africa, most people were affected and died.

“In 2020 and 2021 we had COVID-19, which is still fresh in our memory. So many people died not only in Nigeria but across the world,” he said.

He pointed out that one of the challenges they noticed was that no country had adequate preparation for such emergencies.

“Mostly, we begin preparations when emergencies occur and you are not likely to achieve much.

“Most people would have died before you commenced your intervention,” he said.

Dr Nuhu Ningi, the WHO Coordinator, Yobe, said SURGE is an initiative to ensure readiness to address emergencies as they occur immediately.

He said it is a WHO initiative to support member states so that death and casualties would not continue to occur as a result of emergencies.

“WHO is ever ready to support and continue to monitor the progress and the success of this initiative,” Ms Ningi added.

In his remarks, Dr Muhammed Gana, Yobe Commissioner for Health, thanked the Ministry and WHO for selecting and including Yobe among the six benefiting states.

“I assure you of our willingness and commitment to ensure the success of the initiative in this state,” Gana said.

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