ZWEDRU, Sept. 2 (LINA) – Grand Gedeh County Health Team (CHT) has launched an exercise called ‘Enhanced Surveillance And Voluntary COVID-19 Testing’.
The launch took place at the famous Mandingo Quarter Community Hall in Zwedru, the capital of the county.
The objective of the exercise is to enable the County Health Team and Grand Gedeh Incident Management System to know the trend at which the virus is spreading, the actual status of the county and to develop additional measures and or reinforce existing measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 In the county.
Giving an overview of the exercise at the launch, the County Health Officer and Chairman of the Incident Management System, Dr. Augustine Fannieh, traced the occurrence of the COVID-19 index case in the county to July 2020.
According to Dr. Fannieh, six additional confirmed cases were later discovered, some from the institution with which the index case works and had contacts.
After several follow up testing at the Incident Treatment Unit, six out of the seven confirmed cases recovered and were discharged accordingly, the CHO mentioned.
He revealed that there is only a single patient at the ITU who after over two additional testing still remains positive of the virus.
He called on the psychosocial arm of the County Health Team to intervene swiftly.
The CHO emphasized that because COVID-19 is symptomatic, the voluntary testing exercise will enable the System to identify other asymptomatic illnesses in the communities, pick them up and provide care and treatment accordingly, and as well understand the true picture of COVID-19 in Grand Gedeh County.
Dr. Fannieh pointed out that the Enhanced Surveillance and Specimen Testing is a voluntary specimen collection which is being carried out in several communities in Montserrado and Grand Gedeh, the first to accept the exercise outside Montserrado.
After the launch on Tuesday, Dr. Fannieh said the testing will be done in five different communities in Zwedru, beginning with communities that are very close to Bowen Quarter, a community where the index case was discovered in Zwedru, and further roll out to other communities outside Zwedru.
The five sites include, Mandingo Quarter, Kpasuah Hill, Niabo Community, Zambo Quarter and Bowen Quarter, respectively.
Fannieh disclosed that the first phase of the exercise will last for five days and is expected to test about a thousand persons or more.
He urged everyone at the launch, including health workers, development partners, local authorities, civil society organizations and entire citizenry to be available for the voluntary testing.
The Enhanced Surveillance and Voluntary COVID-19 Testing’ was officially declared launched by Mr. Kai Garlo Farley, Superintendent for Grand Gedeh County.
Supt. Farley lauded the CHT and partners for their continuous support to the health system in the county.
Despite numerous challenges facing the health system in the county since the outbreak of the virus, Farley observed that Grand Gedeh has always set good records.
« Today again, Grand Gedeh is the first county to accept the Voluntary COVID-19 Testing outside Montserrado County, » Kai added.
He called on all Grand Gedeans to cooperate with the voluntary testing and provide support where necessary.
Makings remarks, the Head of Office of r Welthunger Hilfe (WHH), Edwin Kamara, extended gratitude to the County Health Team and IMS for the level of cooperation and good working relationship so far with WHH..
Kamara acknowledged the impact of COVID-19 on homes and markets.
He called on every well-meaning Liberians to do away with doubts and disbelief and make themselves available for the testing.
He assured WHH continuous support to the Enhanced Surveillance and Voluntary COVID-19 Testing and said that the support from WHH will not be limited to the testing but will be extended to all those affected by the virus currently at the Treatment Unit in the area of feeding and other basic needs as may be requested.
For his part, Alexander Bility, capacity building assistant at Last Mile Health, assured the institution’s commitment to supporting the health system in the county.
Bility joined other partners to serve as foot soldiers in the Voluntary COVID-19 Testing exercise.
The launch on Tuesday was graced by several health partners, including African Field Epidemiology Network (AFENET), Center For Disease Control (CDC), WHH), Last Mile Health, civil society organizations, local county authorities, the media, among others.