The Nigeria Center for Disease Control, NCDC, says it has sent COVID-19 advisory and awareness campaign as text messages to the mobile phones of over 100million Nigerians since February.

The agency which made the disclosure on Saturday via its Twitter handle also announced the launching of the #TakeResponsibility campaign to mark the 100 days of public health messaging across the country.

“This is done by leveraging on social media, mainstream media and other avenues to encourage Nigerians to take responsibility for protecting themselves and loved ones and preventing the spread of COVID-19.

“Over 150 jingles currently air on radio and television, reaching communities across the country.

“With the support of Nigeria’s telecommunication companies, over 100 million text messages have been sent out since February 2020 reminding Nigerians about measures that can be taken to protect themselves from COVID-19,” it stated.

The health agency said that it continued to work closely with the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture and the National Orientation Agency to educate Nigerians on how Nigerians could protect themselves against the outbreak.

It, however, announced that the key strength of the country’s response had been the strong collaboration among Federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies and with partners.

“As part of the global and regional response, NCDC has received guidance and support from WHO, Africa Centres for Disease Control and the West African Health Organisation.

“The response to the pandemic has not been without challenges – global competition for access to reagents and medical supplies limited the initial testing capacity of the molecular laboratories.

”Strengthening laboratory capacity nationwide and increasing access to testing is a major priority for Nigeria’s response, in the coming months,it stressed.

The NCDC said that it would continue to work with the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research, Medical Laboratory and Science Council of Nigeria and other partners to carry out laboratory related research and validation, as Nigeria scales up its testing capacity.

“Since the first confirmed case was reported one hundred days ago, several health workers have been at the forefront.

“We remain grateful to State Task Forces, Emergency Operations Centres, Rapid Response Teams, laboratory scientists and all health workers who continue to work very hard for national health security,” it explained.

The health agency said that it remained committed to working under the supervision of its parent Ministry, the FMOH, and in collaboration with other Ministries, Departments and Agencies through the PTF, to scale up Nigeria’s response.

“Our strategy is to ensure more people are tested, contacts are traced early to prevent further spread and confirmed cases are treated.

“In the absence of a vaccine, Nigeria and the rest of the world must depend on public health, social measures and supportive management of confirmed cases.

“We urge all Nigerians to take individual and collective responsibility by adhering to public health advice such as; Frequent hand hygiene through hand washing or use of alcohol-based sanitiser.

“Use of face mask in public places

“Observing physical distancing of at least two metres,” it said.

NAN

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