By Chimezie Anaso
The Chairman, Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), Anambra Chapter, Dr Jide Onyekwelu, on Tuesday advised the members of the National Youth Service Crops (NYSC) on the need to protect themselves from being infected with coronavirus.
Onyekwelu gave the advice during a training session for doctors undergoing the mandatory one year service programme at the NYSC permanent orientation camp at Mbaukwu/Umuawulu in Anambra.
According to him, there is a need for doctors and workers in the health sector to protect themselves against COVID-19 and other diseases.
Onyekwelu said the training was informed by the strategic roles doctors play in the prevention and treatment of COVID-19 adding that the association had come to give them professional support.
He said that the world is in the era of community transmission of the second wave of COVID-19 where everybody anywhere is at risk of contracting the virus.
Onyekwelu said that doctors were the most exposed members of society as they deal with undifferentiated patients whose status was not yet determined.
He said that there was a need for the NYSC doctors to protect themselves in the camp and in the communities where they would be posted to serve.
“Medical doctors are more exposed than the general population, infected people are asked to isolate, non-infected persons are asked to stay away from infected persons but all these people go to hospital to see doctors.
“Doctors cannot abandon these people. This underscores the need for doctors to imbibe the infection prevention protocols.
“This is why we have come to see you. It will not be fair for any of you to contract or spread COVID-19 in Anambra,” he said.
Onyekwelu said that in addition to making effective use of the Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs), the doctors should practise physical distancing, use of facemask, hand washing with soap, hand sanitiser and respiratory hygiene.
He said that the NMA had donated the PPEs which included surgical gloves, surgical facemasks and hand sanitisers to the doctors through the NYSC management in the state.
Dr Jane Ezeonu, NMA Anambra Vice Chairman and Chairman, COVID-19 Taskforce, decried the improper use of facemasks among doctors.
She, however, showed them the right and proper way to use the facemasks.
Ezeonu, also, a member of the NCDC response team in Anambra, said that doctors should not be discouraged by the enormity of the task in their hands at this time.
She said they should yield themselves to meeting the demands of society on medical workers.
Dr Dubem Awachie, a member on the team, urged the NYSC doctors to make impact in any community they would be posted for their primary assignment by rendering professional services to the best of their ability.
Awachie said they should also network with their colleagues in the association for assistance when necessary.
Responding, Mr Kehinde Aremu, Coordinator, NYSC in Anambra, said the visit of the NMA team was auspicious especially at this time of national health emergency.
Aremu said the doctors had done well by providing mentorship for their junior colleagues, adding that it was important for the strengthening of capacity in the health sector.
He said there was a need for doctors and health workers in the hinterlands, adding that the NYSC would also do its best to post doctors to those areas.
Aremu said that when they were posted to the hinterlands, the state government and the Health Management Board should also do their best to keep them there.
He thanked them for the PPE donations and promised that they would be judiciously used.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the NMA team later addressed the entire corps members in the camp where they lectured on the universal prevention protocols against COVID-19. (NAN)