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Nigeria | The Inadequacies Of Our Covid-19 Response

Nigeria | The Inadequacies Of Our Covid-19 Response 

-Dr. Obianma Onya

It is crystal clear that there’s insincerity in the handling of the Covid-19 scourge in Nigeria.

From the federal government and the presidential task force to the NCDC and a good number of state governors who are adept at politicizing everything including life threatening situations….
The most worrisome of them all is the coverup by some state governments (Kano, Akwa Ibom, Ebonyi) of the true Covid-19 situation in their states… even when an unprecedented increase in mortalities has been widely rumored (Kano). Doctors and journalists have been sworn to secrecy, sacked or even threatened with death if they dared divulge relevant information…😠
Why then do we blame China?🤷‍♀️

Little wonder the government was not able to win the trust of the populace with regards to the existence of the virus in our clime, and the actions government had planned to undertake to curb the spread of the disease.
I have enough public health exposure to know that very little change if any can be effected in any community without community participation.

From the onset, I had smelt a rat about the accuracy of NCDC’s statistics and appropriateness of their strategies and guidelines. I knew they were underreporting figures simply because they were not testing enough.
Why were they not testing enough?
Because they didn’t have enough testing kits and screening centers and the guidelines were altered to accommodate this shortage. For some reason, they were also not ready to decentralize screening so as to allow states to open their own screening centers from the onset. On what basis then have they been updating us with these (deceitful) statistics and to what end?

The ‘ lockdown’ with the almost non-existent ‘palliatives’ is a sham and provides a great opportunity for primitive accumulation and self aggrandizement by the powers that be.
‘Self-quarantine/isolation’ is a joke. People can truly be isolated in supervised and controlled environments… and definitely not in their homes.

I was one of those that had earlier supported lockdown; the lockdown strategy is not supposed to be an end in itself but merely a means to an end… a golden opportunity to put appropriate strategies in place such as *providing PPEs and training health workers on their use, closing down routine clinics to make room for Covid-19 isolation/ treatment wards, establishing telemedicine for non-emergency consultations, increasing the number of screening centers and screening capacity, ensuring everyone wore face masks, aggressive public enlightenment campaigns especially in the streets and market places, creating satellite markets (that ensure compliance with hygiene and social distancing recommendations and regulation of prices) that should be open within specific timeframes; and most importantly, ensuring everyone save for the essential service workers stayed at home etc.*
How much of these were done/achieved for the nearly 4 weeks of lockdown?🤷‍♀️
As expected, Nigerians found dubious ways to navigate their ways around the ‘stay at home’ order. Has an evaluation been done as per the effectiveness of the ‘lockdown’? How can we even tell if we’re flattening any curve when we don’t even know with any amount of certainty how many people have been infected by the virus?

How did we as a country get it wrong?🤷‍♀️🤷‍♀️🤷‍♀️

Going forward, I sincerely suggest we halt this charade of a ‘lockdown’ to ease the financial burden and the high level of insecurity on the common man.
If we will perish let us perish!
Perhaps those that will survive will learn from the failures of the past and improve the system. Perhaps we were programmed to learn the hard way.

By the way…..
the billions of naira voted for ‘Covid-19 response’ could have been used to overhaul the entire health sector….

I ask again: ‘ How did we get it wrong?’

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