By Augusta Uchedinor
Murtala Muhammed Foundation (MMF) has launched a tele-medical line to support the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) in its drive to reach those with COVID-19 but unable to access designated isolation centres across the country.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Foundation, Mrs Aisha Muhammed-Oyebode made this known in a statement on Thursday in Lagos.
She stated that the project, named the “MMF MedAssist Covid Partner Line,” is part of efforts to provide relevant and necessary medical advice, as well as mental health support to those who may have been exposed to the virus across the 36 states of the federation.
Muhammed-Oyebode noted that the initiative would enhance healthcare delivery toward fighting the virus.
She added that “COVID-19 unfortunately has redefined for us a new normal and as the rest of the world is entering the second wave of the virus, this initiative will offer virtual healthcare delivery in collaboration with public and private healthcare providers.
“This is a response to the state and Federal Government’s call for additional call centre support during the COVID-19 pandemic to support end-users and prevent health crisis.
“The helpline, for which initial consultation and treatment will cost only N500, will allow callers to consult with medical professionals virtually, who will be able to prescribe necessary medication to forestall any escalation of symptoms.
She explained that the Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, recently disclosed that many patients who tested positive with the coronavirus had refused to go to isolation centres and preferred self-medication, with some remaining untraceable, having left incorrect contact information.
“About 75 per cent of those infected refused to present themselves for admission at isolation centres in Lagos State alone, making it imperative for MMF to come up with this support.”
She announced a dedicated MedAssist Telemedicine Hotline – 08180640000 – poised to launch first in English and three main Nigerian languages of Igbo, Hausa and Yoruba and in the 36 states of the country.
She said additional local languages would be added as the service expands.
The CEO said the foundation was committed to improving the quality of life of Africans, adding that the reason informed the establishment of the response plan to COVID-19 pandemic.
The Murtala Muhammed Foundation (MMF) is a non-profit organisation, founded on the ideals of the late Gen. Murtala Muhammed, former Head of State of Nigeria (1975-76).
The foundation specifically focuses on engendering self-reliance, advocacy on issues that impact on ethics, equity, good governance and economic empowerment, encouraging business development, education and providing medium term disaster relief.