Nigeria has made a wakeup call to other African countries to shame the World Health Organization (WHO), which predicted recently that many African countries would record over 100,000 coronavirus deaths within one year.
“Studies have shown that Countries in Africa are so far experiencing a lower rate of transmission, fewer severe cases, and fewer deaths than had been predicted in previous estimates. “A recent publication by WHO on risk modeling for 47 countries in the Africa Region predicts 82,000-190,000 deaths during the first year of the pandemic.
“However, African countries need to take measure to respond to this worst-case situation while also ensuring continuation of existing services would certainly stretch our already burdened health systems.”
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of Presidential Task Force (PTF) on coronavirus, Boss Mustapha, who spoke today, May 27 at the daily briefing of the Task Force activities, stressed that countries in the frican region needed to progressively increase their capacity to detect cases, “not just to know the extent of the outbreak, but also to identify and initiate care for people most at risk. They also need to expand capacity to mitigate the implications of widespread community transmission of COVID-19.
“Above all, more research to determine the underlying factors for the current trend in the pandemic in Africa is needed.
“In addition to pursuing this line of thought, the occurrences in Kano and some other cities have given us cause to launch our research initiatives using existing structures and systems in a manner that will build a legacy and also prepare Nigeria for any future pandemic.”
Boss Mustapha said that Nigeria had already validated three out of numerous claims of coronavirus local cure, saying: “as a measure of the importance attached to research and development of local capacity for finding a cure to the COVID-19, the Federal Ministry of Health held a virtual meeting with a number of researchers and scientists with claims to cure for COVID 19 and out of the numerous claimants, three were found to deserve further investigation and have been forwarded to the relevant authorities for appropriate review.
“Similarly, efforts are being made by the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology to subject a good number of locally manufactured COVID 19 equipment to verification and subsequent certification.” He said this followed the Federal Ministry of Health virtual meeting with a number of researchers and scientists with claims to cure for COVID 19.
“The PTF is happy to note that the Central Bank of Nigeria has indicated the willingness to support research efforts. This is therefore, a call on our researchers and scientists to take up the challenge.”
Boss Mustapha reiterated the PTF’s advisory against self-medication in treating coronavirus, particularly, the use of Hydroxy-chloroquine because it had not been certified for use in treating the virus.
“We have read in the media about the side effects of the use of this drug from COVID-19 patients that survived as well as those who took it outside clinical supervision.
“The World Health Organization (WHO), has temporarily suspended all clinical trials of hydroxychloroquine as a potential treatment for COVID-19.
“ This advice was informed by a study which identified that the use of hydroxy-chloroquine, either alone or with other drugs, has been responsible for a high number of deaths.
“This precautionary measure by the WHO underscores the importance of not only seeking expert medical advice but also ensuring that all claims to treatment by scientists and researchers, whether conventional or traditional should be subjected to scientific certification protocols by NAFDAC and other relevant institutions so as to guarantee the efficacy of the discovery.”