COVID-19 Response: NMA calls for un-bundling of NCDC

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The Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), FCT Chapter, has called for un-bundling of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), to ensure rapid response.

The NMA made the call in a communiqué at the end of an emergency meeting of its executive, read by the Chairman, Dr Philip Ekpe.

Ekpe said the NCDC was currently overwhelmed by the rising cases of Corona virus (COVID-19) infections in the country due to scarce human resource.

He called for the opening up of the centre with regards to laboratory testing; and the approval granted by Federal Ministry of Health for procurement of facilities such as the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), machine to conduct tests on suspected cases.

According to him, this is to de-centralise testing, in order not to lose probable cases to the community and reduce waiting time for confirmation.

He, however, lamented poor awareness creation and sensitisation of residents over the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as flagrant disregard for restriction orders by the FCT administration.

Ekpe noted that there was apparent poor adherence to social distancing in the FCT, especially the suburbs and rural communities due to lack of awareness and poor sensitisation on the global disease.

He, however, noted that there was paucity of protective equipment including face masks, hand sanitisers and personal protective equipment in the FCT.

According to the him, there is also inadequate designated isolation centres for probable explosion of the COVID-19 infection in the territory.

While noting that that 90 per cent of confirmed cases were returnees from foreign countries, Ekpe, however, acknowledged efforts geared towards the containment of the virus by the FCT administration.

He advised that more needed to be done such as regular and steady water and electricity supply to all hospitals and health facilities for sustained and effective infection prevention and control.

“There should be provision of life insurance to all volunteers; and a lock down of at least two to four weeks must be enforced in the FCT, including the suburbs and rural areas.

Ekpe said there should be free and subsidised face masks, hand sanitisers and others to health workers and the general public.

He, however, lauded the efforts by the Federal Government, the FCT administration, the COVID-19 Technical Team, the NCDC, among others. (NAN)

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