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Date: 22 May, 2020.

 

The Centre for Information Technology and Development as part of its contribution to stop the spread of Covid-19 in the country  organized a Twitter chat on Friday to enlighten the general public about Covid-19 pandemic; safety measures, government and citizens’ efforts, giving recommendations to government and ensure citizens needs are being cater for during the lockdown.

 

This week the Centre hosted Pharm Khalid Garba Muhammad, a Lecturer with Department of Pharmaceutical Technology BUK, and Guest Lecturer at University of Charleston, USA as Discussant. On today’s chat Mr. Khalid discussed on the “Impact of COVID-19 on Health Sector: Nigerian Perspective. The discussant emphasized on health policies that enhance human security and role of the community in the prevention and transmission of this deadly virus. He said, in Nigeria COVID-19 Pandemic has exposed the strengths and weaknesses of Health systems.

 

While discussing the topic, the guest lamented how many countries are still struggling to curtail the spread “He advised that NCDC needs to step up their testing capacity. Khalid further urges Federal government to focus and strengthen the health systems through capacity building and improved health infrastructure. He also advised that Nigerian government policy on COVID-19 should include community pharmacist in testing and referring patients with COVID-19 through appropriate capacity building and special training for pharmacists.

 

OBSERVATION:

 

The discussion was educative as the guest discussed the impact of COVID 19 on health Sector and how health policies enhance human security.

 

RECOMMENDATIONS:

 

CITAD should continue organizing programs like this so that public would be informed and enlightened about issues that matter to them.

 

ENGAGEMENT

 

Khalid Garba Mohammed

@khalidgmk

Health systems across the globe are overwhelmed because of the novel nature of the COVID-19. Therefore, the need for novel diagnostics, treatment (vaccine and new therapeutics), and special training for healthcare personnel.

 

Khalid Garba Mohammed

@khalidgmk

Health Systems includes all actors, institutions, and resources that undertake health actions. Health actions are all actions whose primary intent is to improve health.

 

Khalid Garba Mohammed

@khalidgmk

Health Systems performance can be assessed by: 1. Outcomes/goals: Health coverage, Responsiveness (dignity, confidentiality, prompt attention, amenities), Fairness in financial contribution.

Khalid Garba Mohammed

@khalidgmk

  1. Inputs to the system (functions): Financing (revenue collection, pooling, and purchasing), Resource generation (human resources, facilities, and equipment, knowledge), and Stewardship.

Khalid Garba Mohammed

@khalidgmk

COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the strengths and weaknesses of Health Systems in different countries across the globe. In spite of the novel nature of the disease with no definitive treatment or vaccine available yet, many countries are able to contain the spread of the virus…

 

Khalid Garba Mohammed

@khalidgmk

Through proactive social measures, and many have shown resilience in their Health System by treating active cases through drug repositioning and supportive treatments.

Khalid Garba Mohammed

@khalidgmk

However, many countries are still struggling to contain the spread, and even to treat active cases especially in the developing countries with fragile Health Systems. In Nigeria, apart from the COVID-19 burden and uncertainties…

Khalid Garba Mohammed

@khalidgmk

In Nigeria, apart from the COVID-19 burden and uncertainties, there is increased risk of unattended NCDs patients and other none COVID-19 related diseases due to the following factors:

Khalid Garba Mohammed

@khalidgmk

  1. Obscondment of some healthcare staff due to lack of sufficient personal protective equipment (during the onset of cases) 2. Psychological impact on healthcare staff and lack of sufficient healthcare workforce

Khalid Garba Mohammed

@khalidgmk

  1. Some patients refused to visit the hospital due to fear of contracting the disease in the hospital.

Khalid Garba Mohammed

@khalidgmk

Thanks to the excellent work of the NCDC Director, he has been doing amazing work out there, and the entire NCDC staff. However, there are rising cases of the virus in many places, perhaps the sudden deaths recorded in Kano and other parts of the country can be attributed to:

 

Khalid Garba Mohammed

@khalidgmk

  1. Poor surveillance of the infected cases 2. Lack of coordination and proper monitoring at the isolation centers 3. Poor public awareness about the COVID-19 and dangers associated with it. 4. Public disbelief about COVID-19.

 

Khalid Garba Mohammed

@khalidgmk

It is rather laughable and lamentable seeing some state government in Nigeria advertising seeking healthcare professional volunteers during this pandemic. We have thousands of fresh healthcare professional graduates searching for jobs…

Khalid Garba Mohammed

@khalidgmk

 

And the space that needs their services across the country is not saturated. Why would someone risk his/her life volunteering? Let the government employ them, please (personal opinion).

 

Khalid Garba Mohammed

@khalidgmk

Thanks to the excellent work of the NCDC Director, he has been doing amazing work out there, and the entire NCDC staff. However, there are rising cases of the virus in many places, perhaps the sudden deaths recorded in Kano and other parts of the country can be attributed to:

Khalid Garba Mohammed

@khalidgmk

  1. Poor surveillance of the infected cases 2. Lack of coordination and proper monitoring at the isolation centers 3. Poor public awareness about the COVID-19 and dangers associated with it. 4. Public disbelief about COVID-19.

Khalid Garba Mohammed

@khalidgmk

It is rather laughable and lamentable seeing some state government in Nigeria advertising seeking healthcare professional volunteers during this pandemic. We have thousands of fresh healthcare professional graduates searching for jobs…

Khalid Garba Mohammed

@khalidgmk

And the space that needs their services across the country is not saturated. Why would someone risk his/her life volunteering? Let the government employ them, please (personal opinion).

 

Khalid Garba Mohammed

@khalidgmk

As of yesterday 21 May 2020, NCDC recorded a total of 7016 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Nigeria, with the only ¼ recovered, and 211 deaths so far.

Khalid Garba Mohammed

@khalidgmk

In Nigeria with a population of over 200 million people, a total of 41,907 tests have been conducted by the NCDC to date, while South Africa for instance with a population of approximately 60 million, a total of 525,433 tests have been conducted.

 

Khalid Garba Mohammed

@khalidgmk

So, I think, the NCDC needs to step up their testing capacity. I am sure Nigeria has the resources and the capability to do so. Because the faster you test, the faster to track active cases and initiate treatment interventions.

 

Khalid Garba Mohammed

@khalidgmk

On the final notes: 1. Improved Health System capacity and concerted efforted between the Federal and State government are necessary for fighting COVID-19 in Nigeria.

 

Khalid Garba Mohammed

@khalidgmk

 

  1. The COVID-19 has taught us that NO medical trips for elites including government officials now, so the need to focus and strengthen our own Health System through capacity building and improved health infrastructure for all Nigerians.

 

Khalid Garba Mohammed

@khalidgmk

  1. The Federal and State government must be careful in easing the ongoing lockdown, because, according to international best practices, you ease the lockdown and social restrictions only when cases are winding down, not when the cases are rising.

Khalid Garba Mohammed

@khalidgmk

  1. The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated to the entire world that pharmacists are indispensable in any healthcare system. i.e., many communities have turned to the pharmacists for their basic healthcare needs.

Khalid Garba Mohammed

@khalidgmk

Moreover, the entire world is now waiting for COVID-19 vaccine and therapeutics from pharmaceutical companies that are largely controlled by pharmacists.

 

Khalid Garba Mohammed

@khalidgmk

  1. Nigerian government policy on COVID-19 should include community pharmacists in testing and referring patients with COVID-19 through appropriate capacity building and special training for the pharmacists.

 

Khalid Garba Mohammed

@khalidgmk

Thanks to the excellent work of the NCDC Director, he has been doing amazing work out there, and the entire NCDC staff. However, there are rising cases of the virus in many places, perhaps the sudden deaths recorded in Kano and other parts of the country can be attributed to:

Khalid Garba Mohammed

@khalidgmk

  1. Poor surveillance of the infected cases 2. Lack of coordination and proper monitoring at the isolation centers 3. Poor public awareness about the COVID-19 and dangers associated with it. 4. Public disbelief about COVID-19.

 

Khalid Garba Mohammed

@khalidgmk

It is rather laughable and lamentable seeing some state government in Nigeria advertising seeking healthcare professional volunteers during this pandemic. We have thousands of fresh healthcare professional graduates searching for jobs…

 

Khalid Garba Mohammed

@khalidgmk

And the space that needs their services across the country is not saturated. Why would someone risk his/her life volunteering? Let the government employ them, please (personal opinion).

 

Khalid Garba Mohammed

@khalidgmk

As of yesterday 21 May 2020, NCDC recorded a total of 7016 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Nigeria, with the only ¼ recovered, and 211 deaths so far.

 

Khalid Garba Mohammed

@khalidgmk

In Nigeria with a population of over 200 million people, a total of 41,907 tests have been conducted by the NCDC to date, while South Africa for instance with a population of approximately 60 million, a total of 525,433 tests have been conducted.

 

Khalid Garba Mohammed

@khalidgmk

So, I think, the NCDC needs to step up their testing capacity. I am sure Nigeria has the resources and the capability to do so. Because the faster you test, the faster to track active cases and initiate treatment interventions.

 

Khalid Garba Mohammed

@khalidgmk

 

On the final notes: 1. Improved Health System capacity and concerted efforted between the Federal and State government are necessary for fighting COVID-19 in Nigeria.

 

Khalid Garba Mohammed

@khalidgmk

 

  1. The COVID-19 has taught us that NO medical trips for elites including government officials now, so the need to focus and strengthen our own Health System through capacity building and improved health infrastructure for all Nigerians.

 

Khalid Garba Mohammed

@khalidgmk

 

  1. The Federal and State government must be careful in easing the ongoing lockdown, because, according to international best practices, you ease the lockdown and social restrictions only when cases are winding down, not when the cases are rising.

Khalid Garba Mohammed

@khalidgmk

  1. The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated to the entire world that pharmacists are indispensable in any healthcare system. i.e., many communities have turned to the pharmacists for their basic healthcare needs.

Khalid Garba Mohammed

@khalidgmk

 

Moreover, the entire world is now waiting for COVID-19 vaccine and therapeutics from pharmaceutical companies that are largely controlled by pharmacists.

Khalid Garba Mohammed

@khalidgmk

  1. Nigerian government policy on COVID-19 should include community pharmacists in testing and referring patients with COVID-19 through appropriate capacity building and special training for the pharmacists.
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