The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA)
has described as premature, the easing of the lockdown, even in phases, by the
Federal Government, and urged Nigeria to learn from Ghana, where the same action produced a 100 per cent increase in infection rate in just a week.
Briefing journalists yesterday in
Abuja, President of the Association, Dr Francis Faduyile, said as the
incidence of COVID-19 cases hits the 2000th mark this weekend, just seven
days after hitting the 1000th mark, it figuratively tilts the
epidemiological curve towards an upward spike. He noted that the revelation by
the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) that the nation lacks bed spaces
in Lagos worsens this frightening scenario.
Faduyile, who observed that the
confusing situation in Kano had neither been unravelled nor resolved, said some
states continue to live in the delusion of zero COVID-19 incidences. He urged
states to intensify efforts through mass enlightenment campaigns beyond current
attempts to explain the dangers inherent in easing the lockdown prematurely in
the face of rising infection rates while calling for palliatives to reach the
The NMA President, who bemoaned the
rather meddlesome pronouncements by some state actors on the management
protocols for COVID-19 in the country said: “In particular, we view Bauchi
State Governor’s directive on the use of a specific drug in the treatment of
positive cases as improper and unethical. Medical doctors have the prerogative
to use whatever treatment regimen they consider best, based on evidence and
presentation of the patients.
“We, therefore, implore our leaders to
desist from distracting our time tested doctors and health workers. Instead, they
should encourage them through the provision of Personal Protective Equipment
(PPE), incentives and communication tools to interact with peers within the
country and overseas, as it is customary in the world of medical science, to
arrive at the best possible interventions for patients.
Faduyile said with
113 Healthcare Workers (HCWs) in Nigeria reportedly infected with COVID-19 in
the course of discharging their duties, health workers should not let down
their guard in adhering strictly to Infection Prevention and Control protocols.
“The Association reemphasise that HCWs
should wear the proper PPE before attending to any patient, as every patient is
a potential COVID-19 patient. Furthermore, the Association notes with dismay
the delay in distributing available PPE to all public and private hospitals to
prevent, detect and treat more patients as it ought to, and pray that the
burgeoning bureaucracy is not a clog in the wheel of progress in this regard.
“We wish that the “Panel of Experts”
recently inaugurated by the Federal Ministry of Health is empowered to
immediately commence its work of thinking, analyzing, synthesizing, collating
and disseminating the most relevant medical information that informs the best
management of COVID-19 patients.