AfricaHealth & FitnessNigeria

COVID-19: US to train 176 Nigerian ICSs, Biomedical Engineers

By Oluwaseun Sonde

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The Federal Government in support of the United States Government has commenced the distribution of oxygen concentrators and ventilators to various health institutions with training of about 176 Intensive Care Specialists ICSs, and Biomedical Engineers, who will use or maintain concentrators and ventilators in the hospitals.

The Minister of Health Dr Osagie Ehanire made this known at the Press Conference in Abuja on Monday, he said it is important for the government to generate national and international confidence in its data by conducting more targetted testing before drawing conclusions. Ehanire said “International news media shows scenes of upsurge in covid cases, called the 2nd wave in several high income countries, many of which had been thought to have defeated COVID-19 and which now see threat to their health systems. This is a situation we must endeavor to avoid, and for that, all steps must be taken.

“It is important for us to generate national and international confidence in our data by conducting more targetted testing before we draw conclusions. It means that all States and local government areas must cooperate with Nigeria Center Disease Control NCDC by raising sample collection rate, using criteria listed, to increase testing to a desired rate and to report promptly; as we are still far from the target of 2 million tests. “In this regard we can support States with community volunteers for contact tracing, case finding and investigation. While stepping up surveillance and case finding, States can also ensure that suspected symptomatic covid cases are sent for treatment in time or supported before then with medical oxygen, to save lives and reduce fatalities”, he said.

Ehanire stressed that with regard to COVID-19 and growing complacency, even though adults, especially those 60 years and above are more vulnerable, complications do occur in all age groups. “Records show that 10% of all positive cases we have treated are below the age of 19 years. “They are also the same mobile group that can be without symptons, but can easily spread the disease. Therefore, as schools begin to reopen in some areas, I urge caution and adherence to the protocols and advisories for reopening schools, in order join us to prevent covid surge”, he said.

He commended fellow health workers in JOHESU, for putting an end to their industrial action. “It is my desire to work with them to resolve issues of concern. I also remind everyone that COVID-19 is with us for the foreseeable future, as DG of WHO has advised, with no definitive cure in sight. People are still being infected and are dying from it. “Some countries are imposing or considering new lockdowns or other restrictions because of the second wave. As we reopen our economy, it is time for us to take preventive measures even more seriously. I have directed all our hospitals to be alert and watch for unusual increase in number of persons reporting at our hospital as emergency Center.

“We all must take responsibility for each other by wearing our simple face masks, especially in public places, ensuring physical distancing and respiratory hygiene. Those with preexisting illness and covid-19 evocative symptoms should report for treatment as soon as possible”, he said.

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