Doctors’ claim of inadequate PPE incorrect –Minister

Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, has said that the claim by the striking resident doctors that there was inadequate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in hospitals was in correct.
The National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) had, within the week, noted that a major reason for downing tools nationwide was the sorry state of the healthcare delivery system, which it said was characterized by the perpetual unavailability of PPE for healthcare workers in hospitals.
NARD had further stated in a communiqué released to newsmen, that the non-availability of adequate PPEs was causing an increase in infection rates and an unnecessary suffering of patients and their relatives.
But speaking at the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 briefing yesterday in Abuja, the minister maintained that he made it a point of duty to ensure that PPE were widely distributed to all public hospitals nationwide.
While noting that extra efforts were being made to ensure that PPE were made available wherever they were needed, he added that any hospital found to have a shortage of PPE was immediately attended to in order to remedy the situation.
His words: “I had a meeting with the resident doctors in my office this morning and we had frank discussions. It is clear that there are some things they are frustrated about and they are justifiable.
“They made some observations which can be remedied easily like the one for PPE which, as matter of fact, has been distributed widely in two phases; first to each state government and second to every tertiary hospital in all the states. So, I’m not sure the information about the PPE is correct because I have prioritised the issue of PPE.”
Ehanire, who disclosed that the increasing number of cases should be considered as a warning that fatalities would equally increase, appealed to persons above the age of 50 and those with pre-existing ailments such as diabetes, cancer, hypertension, kidney disease, HIV and others, to ensure they were specially protected at all times.
He urged persons within this category to limit their exposure to the virus by staying at home; wearing a face mask in public places and also observing all other non-pharmaceutical advisory, including frequent hand washing, social distancing, respiratory hygiene, and sanitizer use.
While stressing that being in a closed room increases the risk of exposure to infection in proportion to the number of people and the length of time spent with them, he appealed to all persons within the vulnerable group who test positive to visit the treatment centre immediately in their own best interest.
“A vulnerable person is not among those who should risk staying at home, because complications can arise easily and suddenly or at an odd hour of the day or night when there will be no immediate help available.
“Any person who tested positive and opted to stay home or elsewhere should move to a treatment centre at the first sign of fever or shortness of breath. A delay can be fatal because the disease progression can be unpredictable and faster than imagined.
“With these important measures, we could mitigate the fatality rate. The novel coronavirus is still among us and is infecting people daily, including prominent members of the society. Friends and family have an increasingly important role to play in helping to guide compliance with this advisory. Till it goes away, whenever that is, we must take extreme precaution when going to public places.”


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