The Northern Governors Forum says the Mobile Testing Vans it ordered to conduct COVID-19 tests in the North will also be used in the diagnosis of about 30 clinical conditions such as Hepatitis, Ebola, Tuberculosis and Human Immunodeficiency Virus.
The Chairman of the Forum and Governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong, said this in a statement issued by his Director of Press and Public Affairs, Dr. Makut Macham, on Thursday in Jos.
Lalong said the Forum in a virtual meeting it held on Wednesday resolved to combat the pandemic headlong to restore normalcy in the region.
He expressed delight at the level of awareness of the disease and increased testing, saying all the states in the region currently had testing centres.
He said the region would embark on more community engagement to prevent further spread of the disease, especially in the rural areas.
The chairman also said the Quaranic Education Students (Almajiri) recently evacuated to their states of origin would benefit from formal education through partnership with the Federal Government.
He said the Special Adviser to the President on Social Investments, Mariam Uwais, explained that the Federal Government was willing to partner with the northern governors in the process of ensuring that the children were given a smooth transition to formal education.
According to him, the adviser said the plan is to ensure that proper data is generated so that the children will be given intensive basic education for six to nine months.
Similarly, he said, the Minister of Women Affairs, Paullen Tallen, at the meeting stressed the need to educate the girl child in the region, adding that it would help in reducing poverty, illiteracy and preventing diseases.
Tallen appealed to the governors to fast track the domestication of the Child Rights Act in the region, as 10 states in the north had yet to domesticate the law.
She also called for the domestication of the Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Act to tackle the rising cases of rape and other crimes against women, particularly in the north.
She also raised alarm over the proliferation of orphanages in the region, which were increasingly being used for child trafficking.