The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) says there is poor awareness/sensitization in the FCT suburbs/rural areas about the COVID-19 infection.
This was part of the resolutions contained in a communique signed by the branch Chairman, executive council of the NMA Federal Capital Territory (FCT) chapter, Dr. Philip Ekpe.
He said that there is also poor adherence to social distancing in the FCT, especially the suburbs and rural communities.
Dr Ekpe also pointed out that there is paucity of protective equipment including facemasks, hand sanitizers and Personal Protective Equipment.
He noted that that there is inadequate designated isolation centres for probable explosion of the COVID-19 infection in FCT.
“Necessary efforts geared towards the containment of the Covid-19 infection by the FCT Administration is appreciable. The turnaround time for laboratory testing is high due to the overburdening of NCDC and scarce human resources,” Dr. Ekpe said.
After a careful and exhaustive deliberation, the following resolutions were reached by the association.
- The NCDC should be unbundled with regards to laboratory testing and approval granted by Federal Ministry of Health for facilities with Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) machine to conduct the testing. This is to decentralize testing in order not to lose probable cases to the community and reduced waiting time for confirmation.
- Regular and steady water/electricity supply to all hospitals and health facilities should be sustained for effective infection prevention and control
- There should be provision of life insurance to all volunteers
- A lockdown of at least 2-4 weeks must be enforced in the FCT including the suburbs/rural areas
- There should be free and subsidized facemasks, hand sanitizers and Personal Protective Equipment for health workers and the public respectively.
The NMA also greatly appreciated all efforts so far towards the containment of COVID-19 by the Federal Government and team, Federal Capital Territory Administration and COVID-19 technical team, the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), FCT Department of Public Health, all Chief Medical Directors and Medical Directors of public and private Health facilities in the FCT.
“We want to specially thank the Chief Medical Director of University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada, Prof. Bissalla A. Ekele for donating the newly built Accident & Emergency annex of the hospital as isolation centre.
“Our appreciation also goes to all our affiliate heads, all health workers’ associations/unions in the FCT, members of NMA FCT and the press for the cooperation thus far,” Dr Philip Ekpe said.
He also encouraged its members to continue with assisting the government in the effort to contain Coronavirus, while urging the minister of health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, to bring all stakeholders on board at a time like this for shared responsibility.
Amaka E. Nliam