Fred Ezeh, Abuja
Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) has asked its members across the federation to consider everybody presenting at the hospital for any ailment as potential COVID-19 patient until proved otherwise.
The advice was due to rise in number of medical doctors and other health workers who have lost their lives to COVID-19 because they were involved in treatment of patients who are COVID-19 positive, knowingly or otherwise, from whom they contracted the virus.
NMA President, Dr. Francis Faduyile, in a statement released in Abuja, on Friday, accused government of exposing his members to danger by not providing adequate Personal Protective Equipments (PPEs) for use at hospitals.
He was also concerned that patients, particularly, “big men” chose not to fully disclose their health records as well as travel history which are essential for medical judgment by the medical doctors.
He said: “This very disturbing and unsettling development comes against the unfolding scenario as reported in the media that some VIPs in the society are refusing to report to and be admitted at COVID-19 isolation and treatment centres for treatment, rather, prefer to stay at other non-accredited facilities.
“We perceive that by continued refusal to adhere to instructions, some citizens have vowed to make healthcare workers very vulnerable to contracting the disease.
“None of the infected healthcare workers or those that died contracted the disease at an isolation and treatment centre, but in public and private health facilities while treating patients many of whom refused to disclose important medical/travel information that would have increased the suspicion and facilitate early diagnosis of COVID-19 infection.”
The NMA president thus appealed to government to expedite action on the distribution of PPEs to public and private hospitals without delay. “We also remind our members all over the federation to consider everybody presenting at the hospital for any ailment as potential COVID-19 patient until proved otherwise. Our lives also matter.”