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Covid-19: Delivery Of Routine Services Dropped In All Tertiary Hospitals, Says Ehanire

… Cooks , Food Vendors To Wear Masks, Or Risk Losing Customers

…the End Of Covid-19 Outbreak Will Come , When We Get Vaccine.


Dr. Osagie Ehanire, Minister of Health on Thursday said that the delivery of routine services in all tertiary hospitals in Nigeria has reduced drastically as a result of Covid-19 lockdown.

Adding that, the latest statistics from the National Health Management Information System (NHMIS) indicates that Out-Patient visit dropped from 4 million to about 2 million, Antenatal visits from 1.3 million to 655 thousand, Skilled Birth attendance from 158,374 to less than 99,000, while immunization services dropped to about half.

This was as, Ehanire warned all cooks and Food vendors to wear masks, or risk losing customers. Face masks should become commonplace.

He made this known on Thursday during the daily briefing on the presidential Task Force on Covid-19, in Abuja, while adding that all these have as yet undetermined consequences, which the easing of the lockdown should hopefully address.

He further stated that the downside of easing the restrictions needs to be balanced of with a collective determination by all of us, not only to comply with protective and prophylactic advisories, but to encourage relatives, friends, neighbours and customers to do same.

Ehanire added that, the use of facial covers like masks in places where social distancing may be difficult or impractical, should be supported and emphasized through donation of masks to the population, as an act of goodwill.

He also enjoined workplaces to institute such requirements and ensure that all workers are masked and knowledgeable about COVID-19 and by extension share it with their families and relations.

According to him, “We have also deployed commodities like PPE and other supplies to States and Federal Health Institutions, and in addition continued with supplies to laboratories to forestall delays arising from shortages.

“These measures and others are to address the needs reported to us by the FMoH team, presently deployed in Kano, which has paid exploratory visits to Jigawa, Bauchi and Katsina and is preparing to pay to Sokoto and Borno very soon. Part of the needs already identified is the urgent necessity of on-site laboratories with molecular diagnostic capacity, to reduce the presently extended turnaround time for results.

“Practical, hand-holding training has been requested for some of the health systems with little or no experience in Infectious disease management. To this end, more personnel is to be deployed from the Federal Infectious Disease Specialist Hospital, Irrua, while the kind offer of Lagos and Ekiti State Governors will also be drawn upon. Stepdown training will be a priority in the entire exercises to build capacity down to the level of community health workers in a bid to sustain delivery of services”, he added.

The Minister further stated that, “As we inch towards significant milestones in our COVID-19 statistics, we are looking at all options to adjust our approach to the emerging situation. The Federal Ministry of Health and its Agencies particularly the Nigeria Center for Disease Control has scaled up training of case managers, Infection Prevention and Control, case finding, Emergency Patient Transportation Systems, Surveillance Outbreak Response Management Analysis System (SORMAS), down to training of hygienists, stretcher bearers and security personnel. This will increase confidence in the health system, reduce instances of desertion and improve overall performance.

“The Federal Ministries of Health and FCT held a ministerial meeting today and agreed on a firm, synergistic collaboration and cooperation framework to respond to the challenges of COVID-19 in the Federal Capital Territory. A joint committee led by the HMSH and including the Perm Secretaries of both Ministries has been created to manage the newly donated ThisDay Dome COVID-19 treatment facility. The initial medical team is to be headed by the CMD of ISTH Irrua. An inspection visit was also paid to the 600 bed COVID-19 treatment center at Idu, a flagship project of the FCT.

“Yesterday, the 13th of May 2020, 184 new confirmed cases were recorded in 22 states. A breakdown of the cases by states shows Lagos(51), Jigawa(23), Bauchi(16), Katsina(16), Kano(14), FCT(10), Rivers(10), Kwara(9), Delta(5), Kaduna(5), Sokoto(4), Oyo(4), Kebbi(3), Nasarawa (3), Osun(3), Ondo(2), Ebonyi(1), Edo(1), Enugu(1), Anambra(1), Plateau (1), Niger (1) 6 deaths were recorded in the same period. This brings to 4,971 the total number of cases which have been confirmed in the country with 164 deaths. So far, 1070 cases have been treated and discharged”, he stressed.

He added that they shall engage State Commissioners of Health and their staff through the IT platform to continue training and retraining of health workers in the states as more information on COVID-19 is received, to ensure learnings and exchange of ideas and experiences of other countries is shared.

In addition, we have been in discussion with multinationals and our development partners such as WHO and Global Fund plan our needs and processes. Funds are also being repurposed for use in further increasing our diagnostic capacity and providing personal protective equipment for our health care workers.

Meanwhile, the Director General, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu said the end of this outbreak (Covid-19) will come , when we get the vaccine.

He added that, getting a vaccine does not mean that we will have access to it. We have heard of a vaccines to humanbaseviralogy for the last ten years but because the vaccine cost about $50 per shut we don’t have access to it in Nigeria.

So we have to engage globally, to insist on equitable access to this vaccine when they are develop. We also do that by looking inward, by engaging globally, by making the case for access to this vaccine.

We must engage globally by having more access to diagnostic, theraupitics measures and to everything we need to fight this diseases.

As we look inwards, we must also look outward because no country can solve this problem by themselves, we have to work with others

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