The Kogi State Government on Thursday inaugurated a State Research Team to monitor and investigate the effect, adverse reactions and level of tolerance of the COVID-19 vaccine.
The state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Saka Audu, told the News Agency of Nigeria that the team was inaugurated following the flag-off of the COVID-19 vaccination in Lokoja on Tuesday.
The Commissioner said the team, comprising specialists drawn from across the health sector, would conduct research on some few areas of attention regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, including investigating why Kogi State had been relatively spared by the pandemic.
Audu said the team would also monitor the utilisation of the COVID-19 vaccine, look at the adverse reactions that might follow the vaccination exercise and come up with a reliable report.
According to him, although there was a federal agency already doing the investigation, the health sector being on the concurrent list, the state had resolved to ensure that Kogi people remained safe, because their well-being was paramount.
Audu said the research team would also work on the usefulness of Hydroxyl Chloroquine, Zinc and Mectizan and make recommendations.
He said the state had been proactive, being the first to bring about the novel idea of a COVID-19 Self Assessment App, and to demonstrate the usefulness of Rapid Test Kits for quick assessment.
The Commissioner added that Kogi State rejected those imported foreign strategies that did not work in Nigeria’s terrain, such as lockdowns and restrictions of economic activities, which could have imprisoned Kogi people.
Audu said: These are areas where Kogi has really excelled.
“We have been on top of the situation as far as the prevention and control of COVID-19 is concerned.
“We are also leading in terms of health infrastructural development so that we can cope with any outbreak in the process.
“We are building two massive Infectious Disease Hospitals: one in Ajaokuta and the other one in Kogi LGA.
“We have an Ultra Modern Referral Centre that is arguably the best hospital in Nigeria, which is in the making.
“We have the Reference hospital in Okene.
“We are also revamping the existing health facilities, like the Specialist Hospital, Lokoja, Zonal Hospital Idah, Teaching Hospital Anyigba, and the General Hospital Isanlu.
“This is what we are doing in the health sector not forgetting our highly impactful healthcare programmes like Bello Care, Healthcare Plus, and the renewed mission in the State Health Insurance Agency.”
The Commissioner emphasised that the state was doing a lot in implementing the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund of the Federal Government and was expanding its reach.
Audu said that Kogi State was contributing beyond the 25 per cent mark specified by the Federal Government so that the project could be accessible to many of our people.
“Our intension is to accelerate our march towards the attainment of the Universal Health Coverage in Kogi State and by extension, Nigeria,” he said.