By Chidinma Chukwu, Abuja.
The Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) has frowned at what it described as continued obstruction of the National Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) by the governments of Kogi and Cross River State.
This obstruction according to the body is contrary to the lofty provisions in the NCDC Establishment Act (2018) which empower the organization to “prevent, detect, monitor and control” activities and programs for the national response against infectious diseases epidemics and other public health emergencies.
NMA in a statement signed by the National President Francis Faduyile and Generally Secretary Olumuyiwa Odusote says it views this development as unfortunate, condemnable and requires urgent intervention by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The body also viewed the acceptance of the herbal remedy from Madagascar ‘Covid Organics’ by the Federal Government as an act of pulling all stops in search of remedial interventions in protecting the lives of our citizens.
NMA insists that the herbal mixture must undergo due diligence based on scientific methods before authorizing its use in the polity while urging the government to leapfrog the revitalization of research and production activities of our pharmaceutical industries
The Association says it is carefully studying the overall impact of the newly approved WHO’s home treatment policy for COVID-19 patients. While accepting the noticeable acute shortage of bed spaces available at the designated centres, NMA cautions that the peculiarities in Nigeria should be taken into consideration and therefore urges FG to adapt this new regulation.
“Nigeria has an average of six (6) persons per household; and consequently, wholesale adoption of this guideline may not be applicable here. We risk an explosive regime of community transmission if we adopt the guidelines completely without modifications, especially in situations of poor housing and overcrowding.” The statement reads.
NMA believes revamping the nation’s abandoned General Hospitals and Primary Health Centres (PHCs) will mitigate the challenges with home treatment and acute shortage of bed spaces. NMA still maintains that Isolation and Treatment centres should stand alone to avoid the nosocomial spread of this infection especially in settings of poor hygiene practices.
While appreciating the Coalition against COVID-19 (CA-COVID) in mobilizing resources to mitigate the embarrassing infrastructural deficiencies in the health sector, appeal that they extend their humanitarian and patriotic gesture outside Abuja to other parts of the Federation as promised, especially the States with high incidence.
NMA also calls on the Coalition not to abandon healthcare delivery to the government alone post-COVID as the current pandemic has exposed several deficiencies in the system.
NMA expresses gratitude to members and all the health workers in Nigeria for rising to the occasion as always to rescue the country in times of health crises.