THE Ondo State COVID-19 Response Fund Committee has given its scorecard, saying it raised N700 million from independent sources within one-and-a-half months of its inauguration.
The committee stated that it used the amount, 45.6 per cent of which was in cash and the remaining 54.6 per cent in kind, to put the state’s public health sector in good standing to cope with the outbreak of the coronavirus disease.
In a statement signed by its chairman, Mr. Kayode Falowo, the committee explained that though it was inaugurated on April 1 by Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, it was able to raise N700 million by May 15 due to the commitment and dedication of its members.
Adelowo stated that before their inauguration, there had been no testing facility for COVID-19 in the state but the committee was able to set up two, thereby eliminating the risks and delays involved in having to take samples to Osun State for testing.
“There were only 20 dedicated bed spaces at the state’s Infectious Diseases Hospital (IDH), Akure, but the committee delivered 210 dedicated hospital beds in three locations, Akure, Ondo and Ikare.
“There were no holding facilities for suspected and or infected persons but the committee worked to establish a holding facility in each of the three senatorial districts of the state, including the state capital, Akure.
“There were only seven functional ventilators in the entire state but three new ventilators, two in Akure and one in Ondo, were added by the committee.
“There was a severe shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) but 39,000 PPE were procured by the committee.
“There were a limited number of infrared thermometers but 100 new Infrared thermometers were purchased by the committee.
“The state was in dire need of ambulances for the new centres to be created but three ambulances were added through the committee’s efforts,” he said.
Falowo stressed that since Akeredolu gave the committee the mandate to make recommendations to the government, the committee recommended enhanced hazard allowance for frontline health personnel and this was accepted and implemented by government.
He listed funding of palliatives measures to the aged and children, construction of facilities, and capacity building as some of the other achievements of the committee.
“Contrary to unfounded rumours, the committee received no funding from foreign countries. It also did not receive US$7 million as peddled by malicious persons,” Falowo said.