The President, Commonwealth Medical Association, Dr Osahon Enabulele, has lamented the inadequacy of critical health experts and shortage of isolation centres and equipment in the country, advising the government to make provision to enable it tackle novel coronavirus.
Osahon, who toured the Lagos, Gwagwalada and National Hospital isolation centres to check the level of preparedness of the government health institutions, was however, disappointed by the shortages he met at the centres.
He advised the government to, as a matter of urgency, build isolation centres across the country to help it manage cases of people that may test positive later.
He said: “We need to fast track more isolation centres. The isolation centre in Lagos is fairly habitable but there is need to get more medical experts on ground. For instance, Nigeria is short of intensitivists and other experts who are trained to take care of critically ill persons. We need the intensivists to take care of some of the critically ills. We need the government to deploy more resources.
“We need more experts that would provide specific treatment for the patents. Not everybody will have mild symptoms.
‘’We must also mobilise and empower people and communities at state and local levels to join in the fight against the pandemic.
“Their orientation, level of awareness and mobilisation need to be heightened. This is very important, as it seems there is still some level of disbelief in terms of accepting the reality on the ground”. ‘Everybody must be made to see this as a national duty.”
He also called for the expansion and appropriate equipping of the isolation centres, the public health institutions, including the Primary Health Care facilities, as well as the capacity of the health personnel at various levels.
‘’A nationally mobilized citizenry is crucial and has helped other countries in addressing the scourge.
‘’From the evidence on ground, the NCDC seems already overburdened. There is, therefore, the need to consider unbundling the NCDC to enable the agency more responsively attend to the practical realities in the field.”