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COVID-19: I Support Total Lock Down,Nigeria Has One Of The Weakest Health System In The World - Dr Gana..

COVID-19: I support total lock down , Nigeria has  one of  the weakest health system  in the World -- Dr. Gana

March 28,2020

By Golok Nanmwa,Jos

Former President of the Nigerian Medical Association NMA  Dr. Daniel Gana ,has said  that he supports the total lock down of the entire country as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic that is raving the world saying it is cheaper to prevent the virus  than to cure.

He also described  the Nigeria health sector as grossly  underfunded .

Dr. Gana  who is also the Chief Medical Director CMD/CEO of Sauki Clinic in Jos who spoke to newsmen in Jos the Plateau State capital at the weekend rated the approach of federal and state government to contain theCOVID-19 virus to 2 over 10 adding that state like Lagos are blazing  the trail doing the right things while other states are playing politics with the pandemic .

According to him, "Whatever that has been described as pandemic where it has brought strong health system and economies down to their knees that Italy has to beg and accepted 100 doctors from Cuba to come and rescue them . We need to take serious measures to contain the various  because our own health system is one of the weakest not in Africa but the entire world.

The Former NMA President further  disclosed that during president Olusegun Obasanjo administration in 2001 all African countries gathered in Abuja and what is then called the Abuja declaration that Fifteen percent of their annual  budget should be allocated to the health.

He lamented that ever since then, Nigeria has not exceeded Six percent adding that even the Six percent was as a result of debt forgiveness by the International Monetary and World Bank that insisted that the chunk of money must be used on health and Millennium development Goal MDG.

Dr. Gana noted that in 2019 400 billion naira was allocated to the health while this year 2020 Nigeria has a total budget of 11 to 12 trillion naira budget and 424 billion naira was allocated to health representing 4. something percent  adding that the country had not gone past beyond  Six percent .

He pointed out that one of the past president of NMA and now president of the commonwealth medical association Dr. Enabulele once remarked that the allocation to health sector in Nigeria remains  a joke stressing that, that joke is now playing out as Nigeria is not just prepare.

" We are concentrating  on the  health sector  without understanding that the health system needs to be strengthen . If you pour all the resources to the health sector without building a strong health system is tantamount to wasting  of resources ."

He further stressed he understands  that Dangote, UBA , Access Bank, Jack Ma and others has donated testing kiths, ventilators , drugs even though there is no proven drugs for the treatment of the Coronavirus to health sector lamenting that as at Friday the chairman of Jos University Teaching Hospital JUTH Coronavirus management committee has not received anything from the federal government either for testing and management of Coronavirus patient .

According to Dr. Gana if you provide ventilators which are artificial breathing machine in adequate number , if a patient has some chest  or breathing problem that is non Corona, ventilators need to work with uninterupted power supply for four days and the continued supply of oxigen to keep the patient alive stressing that we have not strengthen the Ministry of power and energy to supply energy to Coronavirus patient  on the ventilator on admission in the hospital.

The patient also need  steady  supply of oxygen  which will go through evaporaiser that is uninterrupted supply of water to ventilators arguing that we have not in strengthen our water board or ministry of water resources enough to backed up the ventilator, the answer is no. This is where I said  we are not ready and we have not been ready . It is very unfortunately and that will be calamitous if nothing is done urgently to strengthen the other  sector that synergies or belong to the health sector in Nigeria.

He pointed out that the country need to ensure that not only the upper strata which is less than one percent of the population benefit from the test kiths, supportive and systematic therapy and the use of ventilators that a Coronavirus patient needs adding that it is important to know also that nutrition is very important.

"Most Nigerians are under malnourished ,If people are not adequately nourished  and there is no continuous power supply and other essentials  to improve the living  standard of the people whatever money you pour into  the health sector is just a fire brigade approach that will not achieve any meaningful development ."

On why he is speaking now, the former NMA President noted that he decided to come out now to say something because his association the Nigerian Medical Association are silent on the current development stressing that as a former President he can not speak on their behalf.

"There is a standing EXCO headed by the President of NMA which suppose to do the advocacy. IAM just doing my personnel advocacy and enlightenment so that government and the people of this country will appreciate the magnitude of Coronavirus pandemic ."
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