Nigerian Doctors and Nurses Photo: File

NMA urges mass screening of Nigerians to curb spread of Coronavirus

* Declares members may be overwhelmed due to weak healthcare system

Alexander Davis | ConsumerConnect

Following the reported geometrical increases in COVID-19 cases, and subsequent anxiety being expressed by the citizenry about a further surge in the number of infected persons in the coming weeks, the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has suggested a mass screening of Nigerians to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the country.

Dr. Francis Faduyile, President of NMA, Thursday, April 23 on a Channels TV programme, urged serious proactive measures to curb the spread of Coronavirus across Nigeria.

The NMA stated that Association believes the country could not take chances of getting overwhelmed with the current condition of the health sector of the economy.

Dr. Faduyile said: “Nigeria, we must know, is not a very rich country. Her patients are not very capable of getting all the necessary payment for health, and the health system is weak.”

“We cannot afford to get overwhelmed before we will start asking for whatever can be done for us to identify people who are positive, and for us to be able to quickly isolate them.

He urged the authorities that “the more we keep them in the community, the higher the risk of them infecting other members.”

The NMA is working with other medical bodies to validate some of the mass screening kits for COVID-19, he stated.

The NMA President said as soon as they noticed that some of the validated kits would give fairly accurate results, they would advise the government to embark on the mass screening of Nigerians.

Though he observed that the World Health Organisation (WHO) is yet to approve any kit to test for Coronavirus, he stressed that every country has a way of developing home-grown methods to resolve its challenges.

Faduyile added that “nowadays, we are having patients who are coming to the hospital and are not given adequate treatment because attending physicians are not sure of the status of the patients.

“This is where the mass screening test will come in, and can help in resolving some of the issues that we are facing generally.”

The NMA commended the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) on improving its testing capacity to discover more COVID-19 infected persons in the country.

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