The Nigerian Medical Association, Edo State Chapter, has faulted the readiness and preparation of the Edo State government in the management of the novel coronavirus disease in the state.
Joining a network of Civil Society Organizations and other independent health bodies, the NMA, in a letter addressed to the Governor, Godwin Obaseki, disproved the claims of the government on the functionality of the isolation centers in the state, and the provision of required equipment, including Personal Protective Equipment for Doctors.
The letter read in part: “While we note the government’s decision for a partial lockdown and advising social distancing in our social life, it is disheartening that measures put in place to enforce these orders have been largely ineffective. The Police, road safety corps and other relevant law enforcement agents have failed in enforcing distancing in private and public transportation and public places.”
“There is an urgent need for the provision of Personal Protective Equipment [PPE] for doctors and other frontline medical staff in all hospitals across the state, including even the police and other personnel who are likely to interface with infected people, so as to protect them as well as limit the spread of the disease. The information at our disposal suggests that doctors and other healthcare personnel in Central Hospital’s Accident and Emergency section lack face masks and other Personal Protective Equipment [PPE] needed to effectively and safely discharge their clinical duties. This is unacceptable to us.
“The NMA notes the training of health care workers across the state. We are however saddened by the lack of provision for the medical personnel at the Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital [ISTH] who have been providing technical and manpower support staff to the state-owned hospitals, despite their expertise. This has led to complete loss of morale and zeal by these individuals.
“The NMA is worried at the non-functionality of the isolation center situated at the Stella Obasanjo Hospital despite the confirmed cases of Corona Virus Disease in the state.
“We advise that the protocol for sending investigation samples and receiving of the results be adhered to strictly by all stakeholders so as to avoid the ugly incident that occurred in UBTH, a week ago that got some of our members unduly exposed.”
The NMA also bemoaned the paucity of information flowing from the state government on COVID-19 and called for the institution of medical insurances for health practitioners on the frontline in the state to motivate and protect them.
This came days after Godwin Obaseki, in a rare public address uploaded on social media, boasted of the state’s readiness and listed the Stella Obasanjo Hospital as one of the prepared isolation centers.
It is not the first time reports from health bodies and other inside staff have contradicted the claims of the government and accused it of false portrayals to the public to hide its incompetence and lapses.