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COVID-19: Nigeria Hasn’t Paid Sufficient Attention To Building Diagnostic Infrastructure Since Independence, Says NCDC DG



One of many greatest challenges confronting Nigeria’s warfare in opposition to the COVID-19 pandemic is the restricted diagnostic infrastructure within the nation, in line with the Director-Common of the Nigeria Centre For Illness Management, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu.

The NCDC boss attributed the problem to many years of neglect.

Dr. Ihekweazu said this throughout his look on The Platform on Saturday.

He was responding to a query, posed by Convener of The Platform, Pastor Poju Oyemade.about what he thought of probably the most tough problem in managing the unfold of COVID-19 in Nigeria.

“We haven’t paid sufficient attention in the 60 years of our independence to building a diagnostic architecture across the country and COVID-19 is the most obvious example of this. But there are many more examples that we face every day,” Dr. Ihekweazu stated.

“You know, when you see people with a diagnosis of malaria and typhoid as one entity and all sorts of dubious diagnosis being shared around the country, the underlying challenge is exactly the same as what you are seeing now with COVID-19.”

For the NCDC boss, the failure in offering diagnostic infrastructure isn’t down to 1 sector or the federal government, it’s a collective failure.

“When I say “we”, I’m not simply speaking in regards to the Federal Authorities; I’m speaking about all of us – personal sector, public sector. We’ve didn’t construct diagnostic infrastructure,” he stated.

The emergence of COVID-19 within the nation and its unfold might have uncovered the failings of the previous however additionally it is serving to to vary the state of affairs with the federal government and stakeholders racing in opposition to time to implement measures in opposition to it.

“Now we are scrambling, and, yes, we are building rapidly, we are scaling our labs every day… We are quickly ramping up our testing,” Dr. Ihekweazu stated, including, “Really, the size and scale of Nigeria is our biggest strength but also a big challenge”.

Classes To Be Learnt

In accordance with the NCDC DG, different challenges affecting the struggle in opposition to the raging pandemic which has contaminated greater than three million individuals globally, killing practically 300,000 embrace the best way the Nigerian well being system is structured; “the separation between the states and federal (government) – who to do what.”

He stated, “I feel there’s a number of classes to be realized after this (pandemic) across the fragmentation of our well being system and the way that gives a problem once you come to an outbreak and you really want a commander in a managed setting with clear management throughout governments to drive the response.

“There’s (additionally) a problem round simply the logistics and the availability chain points; how will we get issues, first, into the nation and secondly how will we get them throughout the nation on time to the sufferers and our hospitals that want them.”

Management In A Disaster

Since February 27, when the primary COVID-19 case within the nation was involved by the NCDC, the pandemic has unfold to 34 states and the Federal Capital Territory Abuja, infecting a complete of two,170 individuals and killing 68 individuals.

Regardless of the unfold and the challenges Dr Ihekweazu recognized, he’s optimistic about Nigeria’s progress and the extent of management displayed in confronting the pandemic.

He stated, “What I’ve skilled over the previous few months since I began engaged on this, is actually unimaginable.

“I’ve seen management on the Federal Authorities facet, on the PTF, among the many governors. I’ve attended conferences of the NGF, spoken to lots of our governors – the Governor of Lagos State, the Governor of Kano State; it’s unimaginable, the quantity of management that comes out in a disaster.”

The NCDC DG praised well being employees who he stated are actually working 24 hours “at great risk to themselves and their families” to save lots of lives.

He urged them not to surrender and to persevere via the difficult time as Nigerians are relying on them.

Additionally, he gave the reassurance that concerted efforts are being made to make sure all well being care employees are protected and correctly geared up.

“From the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and all our partners and the Federal Government, the Presidential Task Force; we are working extremely hard to see that everyone has the personal protective equipment that they need,” he stated.

Though Dr Ihekweazu believes it’s too early to find out what the ultimate consequence shall be for the nation and if the present case-fatality ratio for COVID-19 which he says is comparatively low shall be sustained, he’s optimistic that Nigeria will finish in a greater place so long as the nation unites to confront the pandemic.

He stated, “We have to work together. The Federal Ministry of Health and its leadership, the Minister; everyone has come together and now we have to build on that momentum and make sure we don’t fragment the response. We (must) keep it to one response as we have always done in a crisis and not think of it as different pathways to answering the goal.”

He added, “Our precept, it has been and can proceed to be is that we should stick to 1 response and guarantee that we align and work collectively regardless that our construction of presidency generally results in numerous influences coming into our response.

“As soon as you might be in a disaster, if you end up at warfare, you may’t have a number of commanders, you may’t have a number of inputs of concepts; we have now to have one unified response and that’s the duty of the Nigeria Centre for Illness Management below the management of the ministry with the Presidential Activity Drive giving us strategic directives and steerage.”

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