By Katurak Yashim
The West African College of Physicians (WACP) has called on the public to strictly adhere to the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) preventive measures.
Dr Benjamin Uzochukwu, the Chairman, Community Health, WACP, Nigeria chapter, made the call during a news conference in Abuja on Monday as part of activities to mark the chapter’s 44th/45th Annual General and Scientific Meeting.
The chairman, who encouraged the public to take the COVID-19 vaccine as it was the only way Nigeria could stop the viral spread and achieve full “health immunity”, added that “deadly variant of the virus looms.
“The call is imperative because we have generally relaxed and dropped our guards concerning the COVID-19 preventive measures.
“To worsen the situation, a new variant known as the Delta Variant has emerged in Nigeria. This variant is very dangerous because it kills faster.
“The governor of Lagos State has stated that the isolation centres in the state are filling up very fast. This means that people are being sent back to the hospital, people are coming down with COVID-19.
“COVID-19 is real and, therefore, you must continue the non-pharmaceutical interventions that have been prescribed and encouraged among the public such as washing of hands properly with running water.
“Where running water is not available, sanitiser should be used; wear a face mask and maintain social distancing. These things do not cost much but we hardly abide by them.
“It is important also to take the ongoing COVID-19 vaccination. You discover that there is a lot of hesitancy to receive the vaccine even among health practitioners.
“It is important for us to embrace the vaccine because the only way to stop the spread of the virus in Nigeria is to achieve immunity of the population which is referred to as ‘health immunity.”
The WACP chairman decried rumours making the rounds on social media concerning the effect of the vaccine, saying it should be stopped.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the 2021 World Health Organisation (WHO) COVID-19 statistics for Nigeria indicates that as of July 5, only about 3.8 million vaccine doses have been administered.
According to WHO statistics, only about 1.4 million persons have received full vaccination in a population of about 200 million (World Bank 2019 statistics).
Earlier, Prof. Aboi Madaki, the WACP National Chairman, said that the college 2021 general and scientific meeting, was organised to critically look at ways to improve Nigeria’s health indices.
Madaki said that about 600 specialist physicians under the WACP, Nigeria chapter, would participate in examining the factors responsible for the failure of Nigeria’s health system and proffer solutions for improvement.
The national chairman called on health-related professional bodies and security agencies to support Federal Government’s efforts toward reducing the rate of preventable deaths in the country.
The theme of the five-day 2021 WACP general and scientific meeting is: “Nigeria Health Indices; Challenges and Prospects in a Contemporary World”.
The WACP is a professional body for medical specialists within the West African Sub-Region.
The medical specialists include doctors, physicians and nurses. (NAN)