COVID-19: FG to address deficiencies in health system – Ehanire

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By Anayo Ezugwu

OSAGIE Ehanire, minister of health, has said that the federal government is determined to address infrastructural deficiencies in the health sector. He says that the COVID-19 Pandemic has underscored the need for infrastructural development of the system.

Speaking at the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 press briefing on Monday, October 19, Ehanire explained that the ministry has distributed medical equipment such as ventilators and oxygen concentrators to all the federal tertiary hospitals and states. He noted that one of the challenges they have in the hospitals is irregular and unstable power supply.

“This leads to frequent breakdown of power-sensitive medical equipment resulting in the disruption of services. We are exploring opportunities that will guarantee regular and stable power in our hospitals.  Last Friday, I received in my office the management of the Niger Delta Power Holdings Company, NDPHC, to discuss a partnership that will ensure regular power supply to our teaching hospitals and Federal Medical Centres. This Partnership will not only ensure steady power supply, but reduce the overhead cost of the hospitals. The savings we make from this initiative will be ploughed into other areas of need in the hospitals.

“Our experience with managing the pandemic showed that many of those who died could have been saved if they had access to services on time. During our intervention in Kano, ambulances were deployed to evacuate cases, especially critical conditions to hospitals for treatment. The National Emergency Medical Services and Ambulance System (NEMSAS) is designed to provide Nigerians with prompt access to medical treatment when needed.

“Last week I met with the Corps Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Corps to discuss a collaboration for the deployment of critical assets of the Corps such as ambulances, EMT Personnel and communication infrastructure for the Emergency Medical Treatment Programme. The collaboration will also ensure that accident victims have access to emergency medical care in health facilities without having to wait for payment or deposit. As I take my seat, I shall again remind all citizens of the risk of being in large gatherings.

“To reduce the risk of spread of COVID-19, members of the public are advised to adhere to the following measures: Wear a face mask/covering when out in public; wash your hands frequently with soap under running water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based sanitiser if water is not available; maintain a physical distance of at least 2 metres from others in public spaces; cover your mouth and nose properly with a tissue paper when sneezing and/or coughing. Dispose of the tissue properly immediately after use. You may also cough into your elbow if a tissue is not available; avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness; stay home if you feel unwell until you recover. Do not mingle with others or congregate and; avoid large gatherings of more than 50 persons and gatherings where physical distancing measures are not put in place,” he said.

– Oct. 20 2020 @ 14:29 GMT |

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