By Yetunde Fatungase
Abeokuta, Oct. 5, 2020 The Ogun Government says it has commenced its community based COVID-19 Testing across the 20 LGAs of the state, in order to boost the process.
It would be recalled that the first round of the community sampling was carried out in April at the peak of the pandemic across all local government areas in the state.
The state’s Commissioner for Health, Dr Tomi Coker made this known in Abeokuta on Monday.
She said the decision to domesticate COVID-19 testing in the 20 local government areas of the state centered on the national recommendation of community-based testing.
The commissioner stressed that it was a new means to improving early case detection and treatment of both symptomatic and asymptomatic cases.
Coker disclosed that the exercise which is free of charge will commence on Oct. 8, with mobile testing in five major markets in each LGA before locating it at the designated Primary Health Care Centre (PHC).
She added that the government had solicited the support of ward/community leaders to assist in mobilising their communities for the programme.
“Evidence has shown that, increased testing including those done within communities will improve case detection, ascertain the true status of individuals and thus help in limiting the spread of the infection, particularly through unrecognised local transmission.
“This is a lesson we have learned from countries such as South Korea. In our country, increased testing has helped achieved the success we have attained thus far.
“However, we need to intensify efforts to multiply the gains and have a better understanding of the pattern of the virus in Nigeria,’’she said.
Coker further revealed that sample collection would be carried out in a specified PHC in each local government, adding that health personnel in the PHCs have been trained specifically for such purpose.
She said once the samples have been collected, the health personnel would transfer them to the designated labs within the state for testing.
According to her, this method will not only lead to increased testing but also help reveal the true burden of the disease in the state concerning positivity rate.
She urged residents to present themselves for the exercise, saying that the testing would be done five-days in a week for the next three months simultaneously in each LGA, adding that the working hours is between 8am and 3pm.