Anambra Rolls-out COVID-19 Containment Strategy

February 9, 2021
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By James Eze

In a bold move to increase the survival chances of COVID-19 patients in the state, the government of Anambra State has rolled out a containment strategy for the pandemic called “Anambra State COVID-19 Chain of Survival (ASCOSS).”

The framework is a six-step management strategy that outlines what the citizens, patients and health workers must do at every stage in the management of the virus to ensure greater chances of survival for everyone.

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Speaking on the “Anambra State COVID-19 Chain of Survival” the Commissioner for Health in the state, Dr Vicent Ogochukwu Okpala said, “the concept was developed by my ministry to give our people a fighting chance against the pandemic. We are concerned about increasing the survival chances of COVID-19 patients in Anambra State.”

According to him, “We have realized that more and more people will survive the pandemic if there’s a deliberate and strategic containment framework that places emphasis on what must be done at any point in time. Everyone has a role to play. For instance, leaders of places of worship, market associations and transport operators must play a significant role in strengthening the Stage-A of the ASCOSS. The goal is for everyone to find an aspect of the chain they can strengthen, since it is said that a chain is as strong as its weakest link. Our survival is  everyone’s responsibility.”

Throwing more light on how the strategy works, he said “Stage-A lays great emphasis on strict compliance to COVID-19 safety protocols. The protocols remain the most effective armour against the virus. Stage-B, emphasizes early recognition of the symptoms of the virus. It is important that everyone is able to recognize the symptoms of the virus as that is critical to the way they react to it.”

Speaking further, Dr Okpala revealed that Stage-C of the framework insists on early identification with the public health system by anyone who detects the symptoms of the virus. According to him, the greatest risk faced by patients is the temptation by some people to treat the condition on their own without registering their complaints at the appropriate medical authorities.

“Stage-D lays emphasis on early diagnosis and initiation of treatment by health care personnel. It is important that patients who detect symptoms of the virus submit themselves for immediate testing to confirm whether they have the virus or not. More often than not, early diagnosis and immediate commencement of treatment has made all the difference as it gives the patient a chance for survival,” Dr Okpala explained.

Speaking further, the deep-thinking commissioner advised that healthcare providers are encouraged to maintain a high index of suspicion with respect to diagnosis of COVID-19 in their patients.

Said he, “Since there are lots of similarities between the symptoms of COVID-19  and the symptoms of Malaria and Typhoid, the most common fatal error made by our healthcare providers is treating malaria and typhoid in patients without testing for COVID-19. The standard approach in our environment should be once you suspect malaria and typhoid; treat COVID19. We cannot overemphasize the need to initiate treatment based on suspicion before getting your COVID-19 test results. The virus does not wait for your test results.”

He further pointed out that Stage-E emphasizes early initiation of contact tracing once a patient is confirmed to have the virus. This he said would narrow down the spread of the pandemic and limit the exposure of people within the circle of influence of the patient.

Stage-F is the final stage of the Survival Chain and it insists that patients who submit themselves for diagnosis should be notified early about the test results and treatment commenced with immediate effect.

“We have consistently applied the Anambra State COVID-19 Chain of Survival and the results we have generated are very impressive. While we look forward to increasing our levels of efficiency in implementing this strategy, it is my candid belief that our people will have a better chance of surviving COVID-19 if we pay attention to Anambra State COVID-19 Chain of Survival,” Dr Okpala further enthused.

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