By Joyce Remi-Babayeju
The Nigerian Medical Association, (NMA) has sent an SOS message to President Muhammadu Buhari to save indigenes of Kogi State from an imminent outbreak COVID-19 pandemic.
In the message titled “Save Kogi People” signed by yhe NMA president, Dr Francis Faduyile and Secretary-General, Dr Odusote Olumuyiiwa sent to President Buhari on containment of the virus in Kogi alerted on the need to take extreme measures to prevent an outbreak of the disease following two confirmed cases on indigenes in the state.
The message read, ” On Wednesday May 27th 2020, the disease was confirmed on two indigenes of Kogi State. One of the patients said to be a known community, and religious leader referred from the Federal Medical Centre Lokoja was diagnosed with COVID-19 at the National Hospital Abuja.”
The association, appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to call the State Governor and his officials to order immediately by issue an order granting unfettered access and protection to NCDC officials into Kogi State in order to contain COVID-19 from spreading.
It advised the presidency to issue an order on citing testing facilities in the Army Barracks or any secured location free state interference.
The body lamented that despite confirmed increase of the virus in the country which has risen to 8,915 as at May 28th 2020, some Nigerians are still in doubt that COVID-19 is real.
It noted that the Kogi State government consistently resisted the association’s advisory , despite NCDC’s manndate to “prevent, detect, monitor and control” activities and programs for the national response against infectious disease epidemics and other public health emergencies in the country.
The NMA said, “it is saddened that the “Kogi State government especially has hardened its heart and ensured that the Kogi people remain in the dark, untested. The people are therefore undiagnosed and untreated even though COVID-19 epidemiologic pattern has 80% of cases that present with none or very mild symptoms yet shedding the virus in their airway and innocently infecting others who may become sicker and die.”
It expressed worry that the state government through its State Commissioner of Information has dismissed efforts of Frontline healthworkers as fraudulent, adding that it is demoralizing.
“The body noted that “the implied consequences of these unbecoming actions are what the Nigerian Medical Association condemns. The attitude of the Kogi State government is both ignorantly meddlesome and irresponsible. It is a demonstration of undisguised hatred against the people it swore to protect and nurture.”
The association further condemned harassment and intimidation of health care workers at any health facility in the state.
Nigerians were urged to avail the NCDC an unimpeded access and assistance to render its duties.