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FG links Kano deaths to COVID-19

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Coronavirus kit

Nasiru Yusuf

Preliminary findings of investigations on the cause of mysterious deaths in Kano show a link with COVID-19.

Kano Focus reports that the team leader of Presidential task force on COVID-19 in Kano Nasiru Gwarzo disclosed this on Sunday at the handing over of a mobile laboratory for testing coronavirus donated to Kano state government by Aliko Dangote Foundation (ADF).

Mr Gwarzo said their investigation has revealed symptoms of Coronavirus in most of the deaths recorded in Kano.

According to him Kano state government has activated verbal autopsy of 960 deaths, which if fully analyzed will give answer to the cause of death in Kano.

“The second layer is the survey at 68 graveyards in Kano metropolis.

“Kano state government has deployed official to these graveyards to collate data of the deceased.

“With Dangote mobile laboratory, we are fully equipped to use testing as the third layer to find the answer of mass deaths in Kano.

“Two weeks lockdown minimizes the spread of the virus.

“But there is a great danger in granting one day relaxation in a week.

“Although it is not the best solution, but two days relaxation in a week is the best option due to our peculiarities,” Mr Gwarzo said.

He added that one of the major challenges in fighting the pandemic in Kano is the lack of belief in the existence of the disease by Kano people.

Dangote to the rescue

In a message read on his behalf, the President of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote said the foundation is directly supporting the Nigerian government’s COVID-19 containment efforts in Kano State.

According to Dangote, this new investment in support of increasing nation-wide testing comes in addition to Aliko Dangote Foundation’s support through the Private Sector Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID).

Mr Dangote pledged the ADF’s commitment to reduce the number of lives lost to diseases such as COVID-19, Ebola and other deadly viruses in the state.

He said the foundation would not relent in using its investments in health, education, and economic empowerment to help lift people out of sickness and poverty.

Managing Director of the ADF Zouera Youssoufou said  the foundation is also supporting the Rapid Response Teams (RRTs) in their work to identify suspected covid-19 cases across the healthcare centers in Kano.

“ADF will immediately handover to the Kano RRT, 10 new ambulances (4 that are immediately available and 6 over the next week), two vehicles and PPEs to support the transportation of patients from different parts of the state”, she said.

Training and Sensitization too

Ms Youssoufou said the ADF is also supporting the Kano State Covid-19 contact call center that responds to citizen queries and concerns around Covid-19 and refers people to the proper place for follow up, by providing extra phone lines and ICT infrastructure as well as training for the call center staff.

On training, she disclosed that “We are supporting training and incentives for covid-19 health workers.  We will provide hazard incentives and protections for the healthcare and lab workers who are working on the covid-19 response.

“We are also providing training to them, initially online and via distance learning, and will complement his with in-person training in Kano under strict IPC protocols developed in conjunction with the NCDC.

“ADF will continue to provide PPEs to the Kano State Covid-19 Taskforce, which will then be distributed to the hospitals as appropriate. Items already supplied include coveralls, gloves, masks, respirators, goggles, boots and sanitizers.

“We are expanding the CACOVID communications strategy in Kano by adding more communications and advocacy around Covid-19 prevention across radio, TV and traditional and community leaders.” Ms Youssoufou said.

Ganduje to establish collecting centres

Responding,  Kano State governor, Abdullahi Ganduje said “There is no doubt we started on a shaky foundation, with assistance of Aliko Dangote Foundation, we can see that a friend in need is a friend indeed.

“We are very grateful for the mobile testing Centre witch will launch with 400 samples per day and after a week, increase to 1,000 tests per day.

“It is now left for us to intensify efforts to collect samples. We will ensure that all that 44 Local Government Council have collection centres.

“Here in the metropolitan local governments, we will have 100s of collection centres because this is where the majority of the population is.”

The governor added that the state has intensified efforts to create awareness about the reality of coronavirus.

He commended the Dangote Foundation for always occupying the forefront of helping in critical times like these.

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Headlines

Kano closes hospital where a doctor performs multiple surgery alone

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Nasiru Yusuf

The Kano State Private Health Institutions Management Agency (PHIMA) has shut down Green-olives Hospital, Gadon kaya, Gwale local government area.

KANO FOCUS reports that the hospital was indicted for professional misconduct and poor service.

A statement issued by the spokesperson of the agency Abba Dalha said the agency has received a petition that the facility has recorded two death cases in the last six months.

After thorough investigation, the agency found that, the hospital do not undertake proper investigation nor issue consent form to patients before conducting a surgery.

According to the statement the surgeon is found to be to be doing the task of anaesthetic nurse, peri operative nurse and assistant surgeon which is grossly unethical.

The statement added that the surgeon is not inclined to any speciality of surgery as one of the recorded death case was a Paediatric surgery to three year old child, while the second death was Obstetrics and gynecology surgery.

The Agency threatened to deal with the culprit in accordance with it’s   guidelines and appealed to people to report quacks and professional misconduct for appropriate action.

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Ganduje seeks Assembly’s approval to borrow N20bn

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Nasiru Yusuf

The governor of Kano state Abdullahi Umar Ganduje has sent a letter to House of assembly seeking for approval to access 18.7 billion loan from the federal government to cushion the effects of COVID-19.

KANO FOCUS reports that the speaker of the assembly, Hamisu Ibrahim Chidari read the letter on the floor of the house.

According to the letter, the state government is seeking the approval of the house to enable it access the funds which many states have been granted access to by their state house of assemblies.

He said,the federal government had approved the disbursement of over 18 billion Naira to all the 36 states as bail out funds.

The governor has also sent another letter to the House seeking for approval to secure a loan of over two billion naira for the procurement of 100 BRT buses.

The letter pointed out that earlier the Kano state government had paid five hundred million naira as deposit and wish to secure a loan for the completion of payment to expedite the delivery of the vehicles which will go a long way in curtailing transportation problems in the state.

After extensive and exhaustive deliberations, the house has granted the approval.

In a related development the house had received a letter from the office of the secretary to the state government, notifying the house of the swearing in of the chairman and members of the assembly service commission and the reappointment and elevation of the clerk and deputy clerk to the post of head of legislative services and permanent secretary respectively as well as other directors at the Kano state house of assembly.

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Revenue sharing formula: Kano demands 1% allocation, increase for states and LGAs

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Nasiru Yusuf

Kano State government has demanded a one per cent special status in the Federal revenue  allocation formula.

KANO FOCUS reports that the demand was made in a memorandum presented by the Secretary to the  State Government and head of Kano state delegation, Alhaji Usman Alhaji, (Wazirin Gaya), during the North West Zonal Public Hearing on the review of the current vertical revenue allocation formula organized by the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission in Kaduna on Monday.

Alhaji Alhaji noted that the demand is genuine, justifiable and in no way controversial considering the enormous responsibilities the state is currently shouldering due to high influx of people displaced or affected by insecurity in neighboring states including Katsina, Zamfara, Kebbi, Sokoto and others.

He also highlighted the status of the state as the most populous in the country, its cosmopolitan and heterogeneous nature as “mini Nigeria”, as well as being the commercial hub for the north that attracts and accommodates people from all parts of the country and beyond, as other reasons for the demand.

The Secretary to the State Government therefore urged the federal government to positively consider the special status demand so as to support the development of Kano particularly in the areas of agriculture, trade and commerce and manufacturing as “it will translate into rapid development for the country generally.

“Our reasons are for the development of Nigeria as a whole”. He added.

The SSG further noted that the current revenue sharing formula is skewed largely in favour of the federal government to the detriment of states and local governments as the federating units, which he described as uneven, unfair and unjust.

He noted that the decision of the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) to review the current revenue sharing formula, in line with its statutory constitutional responsibilities,  is commendable as it is long overdue in view of the changing political, economic, social and ecological realities in the country.

Alhaji Usman Alhaji further noted that despite taking the lion’s share, the federal government could not effectively and adequately discharge most of its responsibilities in states, like ensuring security and provision of healthcare services which, he said, were left for the states to take care of.

” The insecurity and violence in the North can be link to the uneven distribution of the national wealth. …Some have too little while others have too much to spend. As federating units, no one should be left in dare need “, he added.

While noting that states spend more than the federal government on healthcare and other services in addition to huge expenditure for the police and DSS, he suggested that states should have larger share in the revenue allocation formula.

The SSG therefore, on behalf of Kano State Government, proposed a new sharing formula of 41 percent for Federal Government, 34 percent for states and 24 percent for local governments while the 13 percent derivation should be maintained.

The Kano State delegation to the North West Zonal public hearing comprise commissioners, Special Advisers, top civil servants, traditional leaders, representatives of CSOs, NGOs and students organizations.

Other states that presented memoranda at the occasion include Jigawa, Kaduna, Kebbi, Sokoto and Zamfara.

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