Governor Simon Lalong

By M. Peter, Jos

Plateau state government is planning to engage students in its Colleges of Health in tracing people who may have had contacts with Coronavirus cases.

Commissioner of Health, Plateau state, Dr Nimkong Lar, said some communities were resisting government’s efforts in contact tracing of people who interacted with some patients of COVID-19.

Lar said students who are presently idle at home would be trained on strategies to adopt to control community transmission of Coronavirus.

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Speaking in Jos, during the presentation of budget by the committee on community engagement for COVID-19 in the State, Lar said the students will help in the exercise since they are members of those communities.

“Some communities are resisting our efforts on contact tracing which is important to control community spread which is our worse fear in the state. We are optimistic that the engagement of students in health institutions, will help in addressing the issue because they will be members of the community and will ensure cooperation from them.”

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“We will present the budget to the Governor for his approval and we will immediately take off with the activities afterwards, but we plead for assistance from our partners, individuals and friends of Plateau. The state is planning ahead for the worse case scenario of the pandemic, that was why the Governor was at the Riyom General and Trauma hospital to check facilities for its adoption as a treatment center for COVID-19.”

“We are also making minor modifications at the isolation centre at Plateau Specialist Hospital, to ensure its smooth operation in the treatment of COVID -19 patients.”

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The chairman, House of Assembly Committee on Health, Nanbol Listick said the planned engagement of students was to augment shortage of health personnel in the state.

“We have inadequate health personnel in the state, whose ratio is not proportionate to the population, so students who are in their third year in these institutions will be trained for community engagement on COVID-19. The students can easily discharge their duties because they live in the communities so engaging them is cost effective.”

Speaking on behalf of the Provosts of the three Health institutions in the State, the Provost of College of Health Technology, Zawan, Toma Reng said he was confident that students from their institutions would discharge their duties diligently.