Nigerian state, Kano conducts verbal autopsy to determine causes of mysterious deaths
London, April 28, 2020 (AltAfrica)-Kano State Governor Abdullahi Ganduje has directed the state Ministry of Health to carry out a verbal autopsy of those who lost their lives to various strange ailments over the last one week
Verbal autopsy (VA) is a method of gathering information about symptoms and circumstances for a deceased individual to determine their cause of death.
In the past ten days of lockdown in the state, no fewer than 20 persons have died from undisclosed ailments including twelve prominent personalities-professors, a newspaper editor, and other professionals.
Health information and a description of events prior to death are acquired from conversations or interviews with a person or persons familiar with the deceased and analysed by health professionals or computer algorithms to assign likely cause(s) of death.
The state Commissioner for Information, Malam Muhammad Garba, who announced this in a statement on Monday, said a combined team from the Ministry of Health and the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) have been drafted to eight Local Government Areas within the Kano Emirate Council to perform the verbal autopsy exercise.
According to the statement, “I am pleased to inform the good people of Kano state that verbal autopsy to determine the real cause of the deaths of our citizens who lost their lives over the weekend has begun in earnest.
“Following the directive of the Governor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, health experts from the state Ministry of Health and the NCDC have been drafted to visit the families and relatives of the dead so as to trace their medical history, with a view to ascertain what really led to their deaths,” Garba stated.
According to him, the Ministry of Health is also working round the clock to ensure adequate availability of drugs for common ailments such as malaria, typhoid fever, meningitis, among others.
The commissioner said in the statement, “Our primary healthcare system has also been re-activated across the 44 Local Government Areas to guarantee easy access to healthcare delivery, even as we continue to battle the dreaded COVID-19 pandemic.’’
Garba, who called for calm, urged residents to continue to strictly adhere to the advice from health experts on how to avoid the contraction of COVID-19.
“At this point, all of us must come together, irrespective of religious and political affiliations, to overcome these health challenges facing our great state.
“We solicit for the cooperation of religious leaders, political leaders, opinion leaders, community leaders, traditional rulers and every other stakeholder to enlighten our people on the need to stay safe and stay healthy.
“The state government also wishes to passionately appeal to residents to religiously observe the lockdown order, stay at home, observe personal hygiene, wash their hands regularly, observe social distancing and also pray fervently for the end of this dark era of the novel COVID-19 pandemic”.
He stated that,“Together, we shall win this war. This turbulent times shall pass away. We shall come out stronger and better; and our dear state will be great again”.