ANAMBRA State Commissioner for Health, Dr Vincent Okpala has said that the state was the first in the country to train officers on COVID-19 Sero Prevalence Survey Study to find out why the state’s COVID-19 pandemic case rating was low.
The officers were drawn from the 21 local government areas in the state.
The study was also aimed at finding out people that might have contracted the disease without knowing and to generate answers to questions asked during the survey.
Dr Okpala made this known at the training of Tuberculosis Focal Persons from the 21 LGAs on the state COVID-19 pandemic Sero Prevalence Survey at the Jerome Udoji Secretariat, Awka.
The commissioner, the convener of the study, emphasised the importance of the training of health officers that would carry out the exercise.
“What you see that happened here is a new dawn; the Anambra COVID-19 Sero Prevalence Survey Study is a new dawn in the state’s Ministry of Health with regard the way we do things.
“Basically, you know we are in the pandemic, a lot of questions have been asked about a number of things that don’t have answers.
“This aspect is a research based aspect or research arm of engagement and we have actually decided to start asking questions or seeking answers to questions everybody has been asking.
“The training is a training of trainers at LG levels that will help to cascade the training down to the field workers at selected facilities.
“They are to help us to find out if there are people in the state whose blood samples showed that they were exposed to COVID-19 without them knowing and without confirmation from us,” he said.
The commissioner commended the state government for providing the Health Ministry with necessary equipment to enable them to conduct the exercise.
“Why this exercise is different is because we are the first state in Nigeria to conduct a facility-based Sero Prevalence Study.
“We started planning this over the past five months and we have strong consultants supporting this. The good thing is that it is fully funded by the state. It is first to happen in health and we are happy to be the first state that thought of doing it.
“This goes into our message of strengthening the healthcare system and we remember we always talk about six basic building blocks of a functional healthcare system; one of them is health management information system data.