The Nigeria Medical Association of Nigeria (NMA), Kogi chapter, has sensitised her members on the measures to be taken to protect themselves from contracting the novel corona virus (COVID-19) and other infectious diseases while treating patients.
Dr Kabiru Zubair, the NMA Chairman in Kogi, while declaring the event open in Lokoja, said the sensitisation programme was part of activities to mark the association’s Ordinary General Meeting (OGM).
Zubair urged all her members as well as the general public to heed the advice of the government and healthcare providers on all the preventive measures.
In his lecture, Dr Busayo Agbana, Public Health Physician, Kogi State University Medical Centre, Anyigba, said it was important to educate the doctors since they always have direct contact with potential patients.
Agbana urged the doctors to always be conscious of the concept of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) which has to do with universal, standard precautions and infection prevention control.
According to him, PPE simply means those things that health workers need to use by themselves to prevent transmission of infection either from patients to them or from the environment to their body.
He stressed that healthcare workers should understand that every patient remained a potential source of infection, an as such, they should have a high index of suspicion.
”You must have your gogle, overhead gear, apron, face mask, gloves and boot; all these PPE have been proven effective if it is used effectively to prevent contamination.
”In addition, doctors should practice good hand hygiene by constantly washing their hands in a running water with soap at least every 30 minutes, which would effectively reduce the risk of carrying the virus,” he said
Agbana also advocated for social distancing of about six feet, use of hand sanitisers available in different sizes, but insisted that hand washing remained the most effective in preventing infectious diseases.
He urged the general public to practice good respiratory etiquettes by sneezing or coughing into tissue paper and dispose it, or by coughing or sneezing into the elbow.
The expert advised the general public to avoid panic while commending the federal and the state governments for the step taken so far in reducing the spread of the corona virus disease outbreak in the country.
Also speaking, Dr Bernard Ododo, Head of Clinical Services (HCS), Federal Medical Centre, Lokoja, commended the State Government for carrying FMC Lokoja along in its efforts to curtailing the outbreak of lassa fever and the present corona virus.
Ododo noted that the hospital had been having frequent meetings with stakeholders in the state, and commended the State Ministry of Health for assisting FMCL with PPE used to attending to patients with infectious diseases.
He enjoined the people to practice frequent hand washing, and use of alcohol based sanitisers, saying doing that alone would prevent the infection almost 80 to 90 per cent.
He urged the state government through the Ministry of health to hasten the ongoing construction of the Isolation Tent at FMC Lokoja and fully equipped it