AfricaHealth & FitnessNigeria

Covid-19: Fatalities linked with preexisting diseases – Minister

By Oluwaseun Sonde

The Honourable Minister of Health Dr Osagie Ehanire has said that the disturbing picture emerging from statistics is that not only are most fatalities observed to be linked with preexisting diseases, many are educated, well-to-do people, who chose home-based care, where they develop sudden complication and have to be rushed to hospital.

Speaking at the Press Conference on Covid-19 in Abuja on Tuesday, he said experience showing that breathing complications in COVID-19 patients can arise with little or no notice while it is an added reason why all persons should seek medical attention when they tested positive.

Giving an aggregate number of confirmed cases to 6,175 in 34 States and the FCT. 1644 patients have been treated and discharged from care, but sadly recorded 191 deaths in 26 states and the FCT, though this figure seems low compared to other countries”, he said.

To continue strengthening response in States, the Minister said Federal Ministry of Health and Nigeria Center for Disease Control are assessing Isolation centers all over the country, recently in Yenagoa and Oshogbo. “We also continue providing diagnostic commodities and facilities in collaboration with partners.

A Ministerial Task Team led by a Director of the Federal Ministry of Health arrived Calabar yesterday, Monday 18th May to interact with Cross River State Ministry of Health. They were well received and have had useful meetings with State Government officials, medical directors of Federal Health Institutions in the state and traditional rulers”, he said.

He added that the Ministerial Task Team to Kano reported improvements in the processes and indices of Kano, also of strategies to control increasing cases of covid-19 infection in the entire region, by ramping up testing, isolation and case management capabilities.

The team also paid a fact finding visit to Bornu State yesterday and make recommendations on supporting the strategy there. Viral infectious disease experts from Federal Teaching Hospital Irrua are supporting the State initiatives with hands-on training and confidence building of Health care workers”, he said.

He emphasized that Federal Ministry of Health places special priority on the maintenance of essential services in both private and public hospitals throughout the country, because of the serious harm that arises from neglecting routine healthcare Services like RMNCH, immunization, chronic disease management, all due to fear of COVID-19 or sole focus on COVID-19.

The missions to States therefore always include officials of NPHCDA and Dept of Family Health whose assignments are to Press for restoration of normal medical services. We started the session of the World Health Assembly that is held normally in Geneva, but yesterday for the first time ever by teleconference, where I delivered a statement on behalf of the government of Nigeria, focusing on our actions and interventions in curbing the spread of COVID19″, he said.

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