Nigeria: NMA Laments Absence of Purpose-Built Isolation Centres Nationwide

27 March 2020

The Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, yesterday decried what it described as 'absence' of purposely-built isolation centres across the country unlike in the past where Infectious Diseases Hospitals existed in every states of the federation.

NMA, in a statement by its President, Dr Francis Faduyile said the severe inadequacy of critical care facilities such as purposely-built Care Units (ICU), in Nigerian hospitals are making matters worse in the containment efforts.

According to him, ICUs with centilators/artificial respirators makes the difference between life and death in complications from Covid-19.

"It is scary that the dearth of these facilities is the same in all the 36 states and the FCT. Given these defaults/inadequacies, NMA therefore, calls for immediate commencement of supervised self-isolation in any manner that will protect public health.

"Physicians can visit the designated officials to the returnees to track their locations, taking their vital signs and those of each of their contacts rather than voluntary reports of failing health and serial testing of their samples will deliver better results."

NMA further called on the Federal Government to immediately commence a strategic partnership/collaboration with the states on day to day basis as the weakest link in the chain can rubbish every effort of the stronger parts.

He said partnership and cooperation would be most needed in the area of technical support and funding.

He said the association had observed with dismay that some state governments were vacillating on the closure of schools and banning social and religious gatherings, basking in the euphoria that there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in their states.

"We, therefore, call on President Buhari to issue an Executive Order to enforce compliance. NMA appreciates the leadership role being played by the Federal Government so far and efforts of some state governments in containing this looming danger."

He commended the Lagos State government for standing out so far and the godly spirit of philanthropy of individuals such as Alhaji Aliko Dangote and Mrs Folorunsho Alakija, who have made substantial donations to assist the country in the fight.

He called on other Nigerians and corporate organisations to assist with technical, financial and other supportive measures.

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