COVID-19: NCDC develops, launches new guidelines for elections

Chikwe Ihekweazu, Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) [PHOTO: NCDC]
Chikwe Ihekweazu, Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) [PHOTO: NCDC]

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has developed and launched a new guideline for the conduct of elections during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic outbreak in the country.

The Director-General, NCDC, Chikwe Ihekweazu, made the launch on Monday in Abuja, during the Presidential Task Force (PTF), on COVID-19 briefing.

Mr Ihekweazu said the guidelines would support the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC), political parties and most especially Nigerians who would be voting in these critical times.

The director-general called on politicians and political leaders to take responsibility and lead by example.

He however stated that leadership would be critical in this era.

“Think about the lives of your electorate first; your electorate staying alive is far more important than any votes you might win,” he said.

The director-general also announced the Launch of COVID-19 Online Course on Infection Prevention and Control (IPC), for health workers to reduce risk of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), infection transmission in healthcare settings.

He said the online course would be available to the general public but it’s targeted at health care workers, to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases while administering healthcare in the country.

Mr Ihekweazu said the national strategy in response to COVID-19 had been multifaceted.

In the absence of a vaccine or cure, compliance with IPC measures remains one of the most effective interventions to control the ongoing outbreak.

He announced that the NCDC had made efforts to rapidly strengthen the capacity of frontline healthcare workers in infection prevention and control wherever healthcare was provided.

“Since the first case in Nigeria was confirmed in February, NCDC has supported the training of about 17,436 health workers in IPC and works in collaboration with the Departments of Hospital Services, and Food and Drugs of the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH), to ensure that health workers are provided with the required Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to reduce the risk of health workers’ infection.

“To ensure that IPC training, knowledge and information is easily accessible to all who need it, the Infection Prevention and Control Unit of the NCDC, with technical assistance from eHealth Africa, has developed a COVID-19 IPC online course.

“The course features modules on standard and transmission-based precautions, use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and other essential aspects of infection control in healthcare.

“A certificate of participation will also be awarded at the end of the course by NCDC,” he stated.

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The director-general said the online course was also designed to document vital information to monitor IPC compliance across health facilities at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels, both in public, private and faith-based facilities in Nigeria.

He stated that infection prevention and control measures cut across all other components of the COVID-19 response in Nigeria and are critical for strengthening national health security.

“Registration for the free online course on infection prevention and control can be done using the link here – https://elearning.ncdc.gov.ng/courses/infection-prevention-and- control-for-covid-19/.

“The NCDC, under the guidance of the Federal Ministry of Health and her other agencies, remains strongly committed to protect the health of Nigerians.

“We urge the public to remain aware of the risks of COVID-19 and to adhere to the preventive measures advised by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and the Federal Ministry of Health.

“Visit covid19.ncdc.gov.ng for real-time updates and guidelines on the COVID-19 outbreak,” he urged.

(NAN)



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