THE IRRITABILITY OF AGENCIES TO EMERGENCY MEDICAL CARE IN THE FIGHT AGAINST COVID-19 PANDEMIC
~by Iyen Victory Osbem
My little knowledge of virology reserves the fact that viruses have periods of incubation before complete dissemination around the body of the host. Consequently, the rate of survival, the extent of damage to body tissues and organs, as well as the recovery rate of the patients is in direct proportionality to the swiftness of diagnosis as well as treatment. The covid-19 pandemic is no exception; hence, there is the need to Paramountly x-ray the relativity of the response of concerned agencies in Nigeria, to the response of their counterparts who are also fighting the covid-19 pandemic across the world.
Permit me to elucidate using a sad but substantial example. Miss hope whose full identity I will conceal for the sake of anonymity, is a student of the University of Benin who resides in Benin city and has shown progressive symptoms descriptive of the covid-19.
In search for medical care, she opts for the university of Benin teaching hospital (UBTH). Upon arrival, the nurses told her that the facility lacked testing kits and referred her to Irrua specialist teaching hospital (ISTH). The patient who had little or no knowledge of the description asked to be taken there. The nurses had reportedly asked her to recharge their cell phone so they can call NCDC on her behalf; this is the same NCDC whose toll lines are free . She left the hospital and contacted some people who tried reaching the NCDC lines repeatedly but to no avail. When they finally picked up, they promised to come pick her up at uniben maingate where she patiently waited for them as at that time, but sadly, they never showed up. It is no longer abysmal to say at this point, that the response of the NCDC using the Edo domain as a reference has been slow and retarded. Little wonder they still report cases confirmed in Edo to be just two (7)
We do not want to make public assertions that will be regarded as unfounded, but this laxity being displayed in responses of agencies to distress calls in the fight against this cruel pandemic, gives the summation that the Nigeria government and her agencies are politicising the whole process. There is the issue of unavailability of test kits in the hospitals, even when the government are claiming to be allocating and disbursing billions of Naira for the treatment. As aforementioned, it is already an open secret that the figures are also being manipulated, but little do they know that you do not lit fire and put under your bossom else you will get burnt. The secret will soon be unveiled by the rapid progression of confirmed cases in the next couple of weeks, if things continue this way. Nigerians are still going about their normal businesses thinking that the confirmed cases are still low, and are as much not present in their geographical areas. Nigeria as it stands lack the essential surveillance equipments and data base to adequately track those who have made contact with already confirmed covid-19 carriers, some of which have already started migrating to other areas. This is the more reason Why everyone who shows any related symptom should immediately be isolated and tested. The irritability of relevant agencies is supposed to be higher in a country without a proper surveillance system, in order to adequately curtain this pandemic.
But what is obtainable so far in our country is in direct opposite poles. It seems to me that the government are deliberately handling the issue with utmost neglect and nonchalance to allow the confirmed cases shoot up exponentially, in view of attracting more sympathy from billionaires who will be willing to help, to allow them approve the release of more trillions from the nation’s treasury and allow for looting and syphoning. We will not allow the lives of the citizens of our dear Nation to be jeopardized on the altar of selfish gains. If they want to prove this wrong, they should react faster to distress calls.
Some politicians have already been tested twice for covid-19 pandemic even as asymptomatic patients, while symptomatic Nigerians are being subjected to facial scrutiny, phone call observation of symptoms and are not even allowed to test even once. It’s is demeaning of our nation and revealing of a failed system and subsystems. Let it be noted that Nigerians are known to be fighters, and we will contend earnestly to survive this struggle but definitely,
“a time will come in the history of our nation when the true owners of this country,’ the noble masses will purchase their freedom and liberation from this shackle of slavery, And the price for their ultimate redemption will be paid with their blood, while making use of tools such as peaceful disobedience and non-violent resistance” (OSBEM, 2019).
We as Nigerians collectively call for improved rate of reactivity and responsiveness of all concerned authorities and we hope that our agitations will induce greater irritability in the systems set up to combact this deadly pandemic.
Together we shall overcome💪.
IYEN VICTORY OSBEM
A concerned Nigerian