The Medical Guild has appealed to both Federal and State Governments to dialogue with stakeholders in the health sector to evolve best strategies towards easing COVID-19 lockdown in Nigeria.
Dr Oluwajimi Sodipo, Chairman of the Guild, gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Lagos.
NAN reports that the Medical Guild comprises of doctors under the employment of Lagos State Government.
Sodipo said the government had been holding meetings with stakeholders in the business sector, stressing that similar meetings should be held with those in the health sector too.
“Stakeholders in the health sector should not be just government employees, but representatives of associations and unions, so that they can chart out the technicalities for implementing gradual ease-out.
“There should be holistic meeting beyond meetings with only medical directors of health facilities.
“Some of them might not have the true picture or state the true situation of things.
“That’s why it is important to discuss with those that have vital information and will implement the strategies,’’ he said.
Sodipo urged the government to urgently update the review of COVID-19 case definition, adding that it should be broadened to allow detection of more cases as knowledge about the pandemic increases.
“There’s a need to quickly analyse a new case definition because the present one led to a lot of people missing out from the suspected case list.
“This case definition can no longer work because what we are seeing now is that people that are presented with infections are from the community level.’’
The Guild chairman commended the Lagos State Government for increasing hazard allowance of its health workers for April.
He, however, he urged the government to expedite actions to resolve the payment of house officers, who were yet to benefit from the hazard allowance.
Sodipo also appealed that the state should measure up to the hazard allowance template released by the federal government for health workers.
“Lagos State is the epicentre of COVID-19 in Nigeria, and health workers are at increased risk of infection.
“Already, the governor has announced free emergency service, which has led to an upsurge in health service, and with the proposed easing of the lockdown, the numbers of patients will increase.
“This is indeed a tough time for health workers.
“You are worried that you are infected, worried whether you are exposing your family and loved ones to risk, due to the nature of your work.
“It’s a very psychological and traumatic time for everybody,’’ he said. (NAN)