The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has called for urgent proactive measures to curb the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country.
NMA President, Dr Fancis Faduyile, who made the call on Thursday believes Nigeria cannot take the chance of getting overwhelmed with the present condition of its health sector.
“Nigeria, we must know, is not a very rich country; her patients are not very capable of getting all the necessary payment for health and the health system is weak,” he stated during his appearance on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.
Faduyile warned, “We cannot afford to get overwhelmed before we will start asking for whatever can be done for us to identify people who are positive, and for us to be able to quickly isolate them.
“The more we keep them in the community, the higher the risk of them infecting other members.”
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He revealed that the NMA was working with other medical bodies to validate some of the mass screening kits for COVID-19.
The NMA president added that as soon as they notice that some of the validated kits give fairly accurate results, they would advise the government to embark on the mass screening of Nigerians.
Noting that the World Health Organisation (WHO) has yet to approve any kit to test for COVID-19, he stressed that every country has a way of developing home-grown methods to resolve its challenges.
He said, “Nowadays, we are having patients who are coming to the hospital and are not given adequate treatment because attending physicians are not sure of the status of the patients.
“This is where the mass screening test will come in and can help in resolving some of the issues that we are facing generally.”
“It is important for us to stress that it is the testing that will help in the containment of this COVID-19 infection because until we test a large number of Nigerians and those who are positive are identified and possibly isolated, it is at that time that we know that we are going in the right direction to be able to stop the spread of COVID-19,” Faduyile insisted.
He commended the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) for improving it testing capacity to discover more infections in the country.
The NMA President, however, described the total number of tests conducted so far as a far cry from what he expected.
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