The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, has called on Gov. Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara to focus on strengthening primary healthcare system in the state to avoid epidemics.
The minister made the call in a statement issued Mrs Boade Akinola, Director Media Publicity of the ministry, which was made available to newsmen in Abuja on Tuesday.
Adewole was accompanied the Permanent Secretary Health, Mrs Binta Bello, a team of international development partners to Zamfara for an on the spot analysis of meningitis outbreak ravaging the state.
The minister described PHC strengthening as the only way to prevent outbreaks most of the common cases affecting the people.
“Once the PHC system is in place we can tackle not just meningitis outbreak but 70 to 80 per cent of the cases of our people,” he said.
Adewole said that any single case could have been easily reported at the PHC level a response would have been activated this scale of outbreak would have been avoided.
“Next year dry season is coming again; we need to make sure that we are prepared to tackle the next outbreak.
“We need to educate our people that this infection is so easy to treat diagnose. We must put a lot of effort into active case finding.
“We are recommending a house-to-house search,” Adewole said.
The minister also called on state government to deal decisively with people selling vaccines life-saving commodities provided the federal government for free.
The minister said: “There are people selling these drugs. We must apprehend them.”
Besides, he called on Nigerians to remain confident in the response of the federal government coordinated the National Center for Disease Control (NCDC).
The statement also quoted Yari saying that he will provide leadership doing all he can to ensure the protection of the lives property of his people.
The governor also pledged to get on board with the PHC agenda of offered the federal government.
He said the state will revisit the structure of the polio programme touting that the state has not witnessed any outbreak since 2012.
Yari said he would take the issues of the PHC agenda to the Nigerian Governors Forum which he chairs promised to invite the honourable minister to address the governors.