Monday, April 15, 2024

Where Covid-19 has left Nigeria’s health system

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Over nine months into COVID-19 outbreak in Nigeria, there are concerns about how well the country has managed the pandemic. Adejuwon Soyinka, from The Conversation Africa, asked Dr Doyin Odubanjo, executive secretary of the Nigerian Academy of Science, to assess the situation and how it might affect the country’s ability to manage other equally important diseases.

Where does Nigeria stand as far as COVID-19 is concerned at the moment?

I would say we are in the wilderness. Basically we don’t know where we are. I think the only thing that everybody agrees on is that the disease doesn’t have the bite in Nigeria that it has in other parts of the world. And that we are really thankful for.

We don’t have the capacity to test as we should. Many Nigerians are also not compliant with the regulations and preventive protocols and many state governments are tired of following COVID-19 protocols and spending so much money. We can’t tell the burden of the disease in our midst.

What we know is that the positivity rate is lower than it used to be. In a bunch of samples, you get fewer positive cases.

Perhaps we have developed herd immunity. But we don’t know. We have to do what we call sero-prevalence studies in communities, to see if people have immunity already against this virus. Read more…

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