The Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), Kwara Branch, has called for increase in staffing of health facilities as part of measures to be on alert to stop the spread of coronavirus in the state.
Chairman, Kwara NMA, Dr Kolade Solagberu, said this in an interview with Nigeria News Agency on Saturday in Ilorin.
According to him, more doctors and nurses should be engaged if the state is to be fully ready to manage and control any COVID-19 case.
Solagberu commended the State government for the measures already put in place by having an isolation centre on ground and partially locking down the state to restrict movement into and within the state.
“The State government had already set up a committee headed by the Deputy Governor, Kayode Alabi, which I am also a member, which means, the State government has moved a step higher from just sensitising the public on COVID-19.
“Also, the government has set up an isolation centre at Sobi Specialist Hospital and few days ago, the Governor has approved the expansion of the isolation centre which is also commendable.
“And according to the recommendation by the technical committee, the state is presently on partial lockdown with the closure of schools, churches and mosques, ban on movement of commercial vehicles and ban on any form of gathering.
“But all these may not play out well if there are only few health workers to work when the need arises.
“The government should increase staffing, both doctors and nurses, because without them, nothing can be done to arrest the situation,“ Solagberu said.
The Kwara NMA chairman said Lagos state had been making progress in the fight against COVID-19 because of the number of their health workers.
“Lagos state has been succeeding because the state has over 1,500 doctors in their service, so, it is easier for them to mobilise some to take care of COVID-19 cases in the isolation centres.
“But we don’t have that in Kwara. The health system has been bastardised for a long time and the present government is trying to pick it up.
“Nevertheless, they need to double up and make sure that there is adequate staffing, otherwise we may not achieve what we desire to achieve,” he said.
Solagberu also noted that the provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) was also very important so as not to expose the health workers to higher risk.
“The PPE is very important like infrared thermometers, gloves and other things. It is not only about the isolation centre but about the things to work with.
“Provision of PPE in the state is poor and the health workers are at risk because they are always at the forefront.
“Tools to work with are not available, but I was reliably informed that some consignments had arrived the state.
“ I don’t know what is in those consignments, but I want to believe that it is tools that our health workers will work with,” he said.
Solagberu, however, commended the State government for appointing a medical doctor, Dr Olayiwola Ayinla, as the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health amidst COVID-19 crisis.
He said Ayinla would bring his expertise to bear to the control and manage COVID-19 in the state.
NAN reports that as at 11:55 p.m. on Friday, there were 81 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the country with no case recorded in Kwara yet.
Edited By: Gregg Mmaduakolam/Felix Ajide