The World Health Organization (WHO) has handed over 853 motorcycles to local government areas (LGAs) and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to ease transportation challenges faced by Disease Surveillance and Notification Officers (DSNOs) across Nigeria.
“WHO’s gesture will assist Nigeria in timely detection and notification of diseases” said Professor Isaac Adewole, the Honourable Minister of Health. He singled out WHO for what he described as the “organization’s deep understanding of the Nigerian health system and the peculiarities of the divergent terrains within which it operates”.
Professor Adewole echoed that the motorcycles would enhance active surveillance by DSNOs who visit healthcare facilities, including private clinics, hospitals, traditional healers, community informants that could have information on where to look for cases of priority diseases.
“That way, no priority disease will go undetected and we will be able to nip outbreaks in the bud”, the minister added.
Presenting the motorcycles to the states through the Minister of Health, Dr Wondimagegnehu Alemu the WHO Country Representative said, “Today, with support from donors, WHO is pleased to make the donation towards the government efforts to further enhance surveillance and build a highly sensitive system to rapidly detect and respond to diseases of epidemic potential”.
He stated that WHO recognizes that surveillance is at the core of disease control, elimination and eradication efforts. The WR reiterated that DSNOs play a major role in active surveillance at field level, through visits to communities, health facilities and linking with key community informants.