Six months into COVID-19 pandemic, scientists have urged Nigeria and the rest of the CommonWealth countries to prioritise saving of lives and use the opportunity to prepare for future global pandemic or outbreak.
The scientists also warned countries to stop the politicisation of COVID-19 pandemic and begin to reduce mortality and empower communities.
The assertions was made during the first in series of Webinar lined up by the CommonWealth Medical Association, CMA, entitled: “Regional Perspectives on Clinical Case Management of COVID-19; Current Realities, Best Practices, and Challenges” to address critical issues on the COVID-19 pandemic.
In his address with over 1600 registered participants from over 42 countries of the world, the Executive Director, World Health Organisation (WHO) Health Emergencies Programme, Dr Mike Ryan, regretted the pollicisation of the virus.
Ryain said much attention has been focused on research to provide vaccines which will be vital to preventing and treating COVID-19 but there is much the world can do to save lives and “this must be the focus for all countries.
“We can do so much right now to reduce mortality, empower our communities, and provide better, clearer and more consistent governance and coordination to drive a well-coordinated, managed multi-sectoral and political leadership to respond to the pandemic.”
He, however, acknowledged that the challenge with any emerging disease was the lack of proven counter-measures, such as therapeutic drugs.
“Accelerating research is essential to finding those life-saving antiviral drugs and treatment for this pandemic.”
At the webinar chaired by the former Chief Medical Director of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Prof Akin Osibogun, Secretary-General, CommonWealth Nations, Mrs Patricia Scotland, who commended WHO for what they have been able to achieve in such a terrible time, lamented the loss of lives to the pandemic.
Scotland said sacrifices of health workers and that of those who loved them have been great, but the debt the society owes them, must never be forgotten.
“We need approaches to help our well-being. We need good will, mutual support, knowledge and sharing of resources, so the input of ideas of those represented and convened by the CMA, is critical if we are to understand or fully respond more effectively to the disease.”
Scotland urged the scientists to make their voices heard as their experiences from day to day interaction with patients and challenges would shape policies and planning interventions.
Speaking, Secretary-General of the World Medical Association (WMA), Otmar Kloiber, urged physicians not to limit themselves with the containment of the virus but take advantage of the era to prepare for the next global outbreak.
According to him, it was time for medical doctors around the world to bring the loose threads of their clinical learning for the first six months of the pandemic.
He further urged scientists to work together and take the opportunity to improve, get better, get new clinical insight to learn the path of physiology as a team, “ranging from the biologist to the epidemiologist, the public health specialist, the critical care specialist and the family physician.