NMA laments inadequate testing, worries over rejection of patients by hospitals

The Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, yesterday expressed concern over hospitals’ refusal to treat patients with other ailments, lamenting the low rate of testing in the country. This came as Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, in a report, said 26 percent or 203 of the 782 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Nigeria as of April 21 were from unknown sources.
The Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 said also yesterday that the country had so far tested 10,000 people for the virus. NMA President, Dr. Francis Faduyile, who spoke on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise, said the hospitals are rejecting patients because of lack of testing capacity. “Nowadays, we are having patients who are coming to the hospital and are not given adequate treatment because attending physicians are not sure of the status of the patients.
“This is where the mass screening test will come in and can help in resolving some of the issues that we are facing generally. “It is important for us to stress that it is the testing that will help in the containment of this COVID-19 infection because until we test a large number of Nigerians and those who are positive are identified and possibly isolated, it is at that time that we know that we are going in the right direction to be able to stop the spread of COVID-19.
’’ Dr. Faduyile also warned that Nigeria cannot afford to take the chance of getting overwhelmed with the present condition of its health sector, describing it as very weak. “Nigeria, we must know, is not a very rich country; her patients are not very capable of getting all the necessary payment for health and the health system is weak. “We cannot afford to get overwhelmed before we will start asking for whatever can be done for us to identify people who are positive, and for us to be able to quickly isolate them. READ ALSO: COVID-19: CSO urges Buhari on regular broadcast to Nigerians “The more we keep them in the community, the higher the risk of them infecting other members,” he added.
He revealed that the NMA is working with other medical bodies to validate some of the mass screening kits for COVID-19, stressing that as soon as they noticed that some of the validated kits give fairly accurate results, NMA would advise government to embark on mass screening of Nigerians. Noting that the World Health Organization, WHO, is yet to approve any kit to test for COVID-19, Faduyile said every country has a way of developing home-grown methods to resolve its challenges.
The NMA President described the total number of tests conducted in the country so far as a far cry from what he expected. 26% of COVID-19 cases infected from unknown sources — NCDC Meanwhile, the NCDC has said 26 percent or 203 of the 782 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Nigeria as of April 21 were from unknown sources.
The NCDC’s situation report also showed that 27 per cent or 210 of the cases in the country involved people with travel history, 35 per cent or 274 of the cases were contacts of those with travel history, while 12 percent or 95 of the cases were tagged as incomplete. Nigeria witnessed an upsurge in Coronavirus cases on Tuesday as the NCDC confirmed a record 117 cases, pushing the country’s total infections towards 800.
The latest report from the agency showed that the pandemic did not, however, spread to any new state during the day and all 117 new cases were limited to places where cases had already been confirmed. According to the NCDC report, males account for 70 per cent or 544 of the country’s total cases, with females accounting for 30 per cent or 238 of the cases. Vanguard

April 24, 2020

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