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COVID-19 pandemic: A monumental disaster unfolding in Kano

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By Usman Yusuf

1. There is a disaster currently unfolding in Kano with rising death rates particularly among the elderly that is not getting the National attention it deserves.

2. While some may explain this increasing death rates to the lack of medical care for the chronically ill due to the lockdown (which in any case is poorly observed and enforced in Kano), we should not forget that these same preexisting medical conditions make the elderly more vulnerable to infection and death by Covid-19

3. Kano, the most populous city in Nigeria will if urgent measures are not taken now, become the epicenter of Covid-19 pandemic in the African continent.

4. I have always believed that based on the epidemiology of the virus, the population dynamics, negative socioeconomic factors, the state of healthcare and infrastructure in the city, Kano alone will have more positive cases than the whole country put together. But, because we were not testing, we did not find. We are now seeing more cases because the test center in Kano started working just two weeks ago.

5. On Monday April 20th, 2020, there was a news scroll on National Television Authority (NTA) captioned “100 people died in Kano from a strange illness”. Really?, what illness can be stranger than Covid-19 at this moment in our history, I asked?

6. Print and social media are also replete with hysterical headlines about the rising fatalities in the city.

7. There are first hand reports from many cemeteries in the city of steadily increasing burials which the state government initially denied but later said it would investigate.

8. Doctors in the Accident and Emergency Department (A&E) of the major teaching hospital in the city report that recently, almost 60% of all A&E visits are among adults with symptomatic respiratory infections with increasing fatality in those above 50 years of age.

9. To worsen things, most of the hospitals in the state are currently only partially functioning due to fear and uncertainty among healthcare workers who know very well that the hospitals can not cope with sick Covid-19 patients that will soon be coming.

10. The tragedy is that healthcare workers who are in the frontline and exposed daily to the mortal danger of this virus are not provided with any form of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

11. About two months ago, Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital (AKTH) lost two brilliant Doctors in the prime of their lives and careers to Lassa Fever after operating on an infected pregnant patient.

12. This is the reason that the AKTH Chapter of the Association of Resident Doctors issued a statement on 20th April 2020 putting the hospital authorities on notice that they will stop seeing patients if they are not provided with adequate PPEs.

13. These Doctors are right in their demands which are enshrined and protected by the WHO rights of healthcare workers taking care of patients in any pandemic.

14. Doctors took an oath to protect and preserve lives not to commit suicide which is what knowingly seeing a Covid-19 patient without PPE will be.

15. Nigerians as a people should salute, speak up for, and protect our healthcare workers. These selfless men and women, some of the best among us are in the frontline all across the nation putting their lives on the line for us in this existential battle against this unseen enemy .

16. Sadly, the Kano State’s Task Force on Covid-19 is in disarray since several of its key members went into quarantine after testing positive for the virus, this vacuum in leadership has resulted in the very slow response and testing by the State’s Rapid Response team resulting in increasing fatality particularly among the elderly.

17. It is the socioeconomic consequences of this pandemic that scares me more than the virus itself. How well it is handled now will determine this outcome. Clearly, Kano city is in serious trouble and the political leadership is in dire need of help from the Federal government, it’s citizens and the whole nation.

18. A wise man once said “When disaster strikes, it tears the curtain away from the festering problems that we have beneath them,”

19. I call on the Federal government to act now with all sense of urgency by mobilizing resources to Kano to achieve the following remedies before it is too late.

(a). Humane but strict enforcement of Social Distancing measures

(b). Provision of foodstuffs and palliatives to enable people to stay at home

(c). Aggressive case finding by increasing testing and isolating those found positive

(d). Provision of adequate PPEs to healthcare workers

(e). Provision of adequate Drugs & Consumables to hospitals

(f). Provision of more hospital & ICU bed spaces

(g). Provision of Ventilators to hospitals

(h). Employment of more healthcare workers like Nurses and Community Health Extension Workers (CHEWS) to assist in contact tracing

(I). Aggressive public education

(j). All deaths should be reported and swabs taken for Covid-19 before burials

(k). Active engagement of Traditional, Religious and community leaders

20. WE ALL HAVE A DUTY TO PULL TOGETHER AND LOOK OUT FOR EACH OTHER AT THIS TRYING TIME

Yusuf is a Professor of Haematology-Oncology and Bone Marrow Transplantation

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Security: Kano trains 5,504 Police constabulary to aid community Policing 

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Nasiru Yusuf

Kano state governor Abdullahi Ganduje said his administration has trained 5,504 constabulary to support community policing.

KANO FOCUS reports that Ganduje revealed this on Sunday while inaugurating Rano Emirate community policing committees in Doguwa local government area.

The governor explained how community policing strategy goes deeply into the fabric of Kano society, as a political entity.

While enumerating reasons behind the recorded achievements in the security of the state, governor said, “Our administration found it necessary to support community participation in the security of our state.”

“We have gone further by recruiting Police constabulary, who are assisting the security agencies. And also we are assisting the various community policing committees.

“We trained in Kaduna 704 graduates of Police Constabulary. Also for each of the rural local governments, the 36 local governments, we are training 100 Police constabulary. Making a total of 3,600 Police constabulary.”

“For the 8 metropolitan, local governments we are training 150 in each of the 8 local governments. Giving rise to 1,200 Police Constabulary. Having a total of 4,800 Police Constabulary in addition to 704 that have already been trained. Which all stands at 5,504 Police Constabulary now at hand.”

“Community participation, apart from community policing is necessary for us to achieve a desirable situation from all ramifications. As such, we are also inviting corporate social responsibility in the management of security situation in Kano state.”

Part of the factors that played an important role in the security situation in the state, he acknowledged and appreciated that, “Our security agencies have succeeded in building full synergy among themselves. And we have extended coordination in order to get security information and action in Kano state.

“We have to thank the Police, the Department for State Security (DSS), the Air Force, the Army, the Civil Defence (NSCDC), Immigration, Customs and Excise, Correctional Homes, traditional institutions, National Agency for the for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Person (NAPTIP), the Vigilante Groups, representatives of various communities, we have to thank them all. They are all contributing to the security situation in Kano state.”

Mr Ganduje he stressed that, “There is no doubt security is an issue of topical nature in Nigeria. Is an issue that bothers almost everybody, all governments in Nigeria. And is an issue that we must come altogether in order to solve it.

“We can see the effort of our security agencies that are working round the clock in order to keep Nigeria safe. In Kano state we are also conscious of the security of our state. Therefore we developed various strategies in order to secure Kano state.”

“First of all we examined the issue of metropolitan, Kano being a metropolitan city and a mega city, we have taken necessary steps in order to ensure the security of our own mega city.”

“We built what we call Security Dormitories on the major entrance of metropolitan Kano. That each of the dormitories houses 600 policemen. And also we have developed CCTV programme.

“Which is working very well. While the control room is with our security agencies. We have other technology employed in order to check security issues.”

In his remarks, the Emir of Rano, Kabiru Inuwa Muhammad, commended the effort being put by governor Ganduje in securing all parts of the state, with the Divine help from Almighty Allah.

He said, “Today is a historic day that we cannot forget. All our people are happy with this special event taking place in our Emirate, Rano Emirate. We are always ready to cooperate with your policies and programmes Your Excellency Sir. Especially this issue of community policing.”

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Ganduje donates N3.6m to families of Doguwa flood victims

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Nasiru Yusuf
 
 
Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano state has paid condolence visit to the families of 18 Doguwa flood victims and donated the sum of two hundred thousand Naira to each of the victims family.
 
KANO FOCUS reports that Ganduje prayed for the repose of the departed souls of those who died as a result of the heavy downpour.
“When the information of this sad tragedy reached us we were seriously shocked. May Allah Forgive the victims, who died as martyrs, being washed away by flood. May He give them the ultimate reward of Jannatul Fiddaus, ameen,” the governor prayed.
Families of the victims expressed appreciation to the governor and his entourage and prayed to God to guide him in steering the affairs of the state.
It will be recalled that on July 23, about 18 persons including six members of a family have perished in a ghastly car accident in Doguwa Local Government Area.
The Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) in Kano State, Zubairu Mato, said the accident occurred when a bridge linking Riruwai and Doguwa broke down as a result of the heavy downpour, and the driver wasn’t aware that the bridge had broken down.
He explained that the vehicle plunged into the water, killing all the 18 passengers on board including six members of same family.
The family members have been identified as Bashir Doguwa, Malami Gidan-Tanimu, Safiya Mukhtar, Shahida Bashir, Fatima Rabi’u, Uzairu Bashir, all of Doguwa Local Government Area of Kano State.
Doguwa and his family were on their way from Doguwa to First Lady Secondary School in Dambatta Local Government Area of the state to visit his daughter, Firdausi Bashir, who is among the students writing the ongoing NECO SSCE examinations.

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Kano records highest number of sickle cell patients in Nigeria

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Nasiru Yusuf

Kano state has the highest sickle cell patients in Nigeria, a consultant haematologist at Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital said.

KANO FOCUS reports that Dalha Halliru Gwarzo disclosed this in an interview with Hospital’s newsletter as part of the 2021 World Sickle Cell day.

He added that Lagos is the second state with highest number of sickle cell cases in the country.

Mr Gwarzo said India, Democratic Republic of Congo and Nigeria constituted 90% of the sickle cell patients worldwide.

On the causes of sickle cell disease, Mr Gwarzo said it is a genetic inherited disease from parents who are either SS, or AS genotype as a result of genetic condition or mutation of abnormal form of red blood cell.

He advocated for compulsory screening of infants after birth and school children, pre-marital counseling/tests, subsidising cost of medication/treatment and mass sensitisation campaign on dangers of the disease.

Mr Gwarzo noted that, although there is no known cure for sickle cell disease, but developed countries are using a high technology for manipulation of the genetic cells by bone marrow and stem cells transplant, which cost about fifteen million Naira in countries like United States, Germany, United Kingdom and Canada.

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