Emmanuel Adeyemi, Lokoja
The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Kogi State chapter, yesterday raised concerns that many avoidable deaths may be recorded in the state owing to what it called “the inability of the Kogi State government to test or follow laid down protocols on presentive measures on COVID-19”
In a statement issued in Lokoja and signed by the chairman, Dr Kabiru Zubairu, the attention of the Kogi State Government on emerging challenges with respect to patient management in hospitals due to the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic, as community transmission of the disease escalates in Nigeria.
He pointed out that reports from their affiliate bodies in various hospitals have shown that it is becoming difficult to manage patients with other clinical conditions without first excluding COVID-19, especially those patients coming from high-risk states such Lagos and Kano, and the FCT.
Dr Zubairu stressed that over 100 health care workers have contracted with this virus and some have died, adding that most hospitals are on red alert and consider all patients as potential carriers of the infection.
As a result of this high level of suspicion, Dr Zubairu said doctors prefer to rule out COVID-19 in patients they consider as high risk before proceeding to manage them for their clinical conditions.
“The inability of the state to test or follow laid down protocols in order to exclude COVID-19 may lead to the needless death of patients presenting with other clinical conditions due to neglect by HCWs,” the chairman added.
“It should be noted that if doctors should attend to one unknown case of COVID-19 in hospital settings, it may spread to many HCWs and their families as hospital wards and units may be shut down for fumigation due to contamination by the virus and become unavailable for patients care,” Dr Zubairu said.
The chairman, who called on the state government to open the channel for testing to mitigate the unhealthy development, charged health care workers to be on their guard and resist any attempt to attend to patients without observing all the necessary precautions against COVID-19.
“The NMA is not unaware of the ongoing COVID-19 and the consequent economic downturn. But the NMA strongly reject any salary cut for doctors and other health care workers (HCWs) in Kogi State.”
Zubair stressed that any further cut on the salaries of doctors and other HCWs in the state would further impoverish them and would accelerate the exodus of doctors from Kogi State.