As the world marks this year's World Day for Safety and Health at Work, the Nigerian Medical Association, NMA has said that a total of 264 doctors have been exposed to COVID-19 situations out of which 20 actually contracted the infection, and two recovered so far with three mortalities.
In a message of solidarity to health workers, particularly for those who contracted COVID-19 and tribute to those who have died from the disease, the NMA also salute health workers over what they described as their 'astute conviction and unwavering patriotism'.
Commiserating with the families and associates of the deceased, the NMA acknowledged that contracting the virus from patients with the highly contagious COVID-19 was feasible even with the best of conditions due to the inevitability of close contacts with the sick.
In the message jointly signed by the National President of the NMA, Dr Francis Faduyile and the General Secretary, Dr Olumuyiwa Odusote to mark this year's Health at Work with the theme: "Stop the pandemic: Safety and health at work can save lives", the NMA restated that the occurrence could be reduced with strict adherence to the global best practice of Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) protocols.
"Availability of personal protective equipment (PPE) inadequate quality and quantity, amenities like running water, enabling the environment in the health service space and spirit-lifting motivation and incentives can mitigate hazardous environments, reduce drastically the incidence of nosocomial infections and engender a hazard-free health service environment.
"We salute the astute conviction and unwavering patriotism of all health workers in Nigeria especially the uncommon courage at the war front against COVID-19 and commiserate with the families and associates of the deceased."
The NMA pledged to continue to engage with appropriate levels of authority to provide for the safety of healthcare workers all over Nigeria while mobilising their members to brace up to continue to defend their fatherland and its people against the ravaging army of Coronavirus.
"This is also why the NMA has flagged off the "Save Our Private Health Practitioners (SOPHEP) Program" to mobilise resources in cash and kind to provide adequate PPE and consumables to assist private health facilities seemingly abandoned by public authorities to practice IPC for their safety and protection of their staff, their patients and by extension the general public," they added.