Covid-19: Upgrade Laboratories In Nigeria, Increase Incentives For Health Professionals CNP Tells FG

The College of Nigerian Pathologists (CNP) has urged governments at all level to prioritize working material and welfare of health professionals who are at the frontline in the fight against coronavirus in Nigeria. It calls on the government to allocate part of the covid-19 budget for upgrading of laboratories across the country

The CNP president professor Philip Olatunji raised the concern in a statement to address the inadequacies in the ongoing measures deployed by government to contain çovid-19

Professor Olatunji says ”those in the frontline must be fully supported and motivated through the provision of all necessary working materials and appropriate incentives. This is particularly important because, while educational institutions, markets, recreation areas, beaches, and religious places can close and communities can be locked down, hospitals must remain open and health care personnel must remain at work.”
He raised concern on the inadequacy of testing centres across the country and urges governments to substantially decentralize the testing centres as a strategy to accelerate the control of the outbreak. “We do not see any reason why our tertiary health care centres where competent pathologists and medical laboratory scientists are situated, cannot carry out COVID-19 tests. We urge the Federal and State governments to deploy a portion of the COVID-19 budget to bridge whatever deficiencies exist in our tertiary diagnostic laboratories”

The CNP cautioned against using test kits with unknown sensitivity and specificity and recommend that an in-country evaluation could be done for some that are said to be antigen-based. He equally recommended that diagnostic utility should employ the NCDC recommended Real Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR)

The CNP Boss also raised concerned about a possible abuse of Chloroquine arising from its purported usefulness in treating COVID-19 infection. “Although some evidence is emerging about its efficacy, we caution against inappropriate use of Chloroquine due to its damaging effect to the eye and interference with the functioning of the heart. Chloroquine should therefore only be used under the guidance of certified medical personnel in the care of people with COVID-19 infection. We condemn the hiking of the cost of Chloroquine, face masks, hand gloves, and sanitizer, which are essential for protection and prevention of the population, by unpatriotic vendors and dealers. We also caution against the spread of fake and unverified news. Members of the public should consult WHO, CDC, NCDC and other authoritative websites and sources for reliable information. Share only information you have personally verified; if you are in doubt do not share”

Professor Olatunji said Nigerian need not to panic or get confused or over-react as more than 95 percent of the cases are stable. He have gave some preventive and protective instructions “wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water aren’t available; do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands; avoid close contact with people who are sick, sneezing or coughing, and stay at home when you feel sick. Coughing or sneezing should be done into a tissue or flexed elbow, and tissue should be properly disposed into trash or waste bins. Surfaces and objects people frequently touch should be cleaned and disinfected. Wear face mask if you have respiratory symptoms or are caring for someone with respiratory symptoms. Maintain social distance of six feet (2 metres) and please notify the NCDC (080097000010) “

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