The Federal Government has reiterated its commitment to continue to mitigate the spread and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on children, the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, has said. Speaking at the virtual plenary session of the Annual General Meeting of the Paediatric Association of Nigeria (PAN) yesterday, the minister said children were among those severely affected by the pandemic.
Represented at the event by the Director, Reproductive Health, Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH), Dr Kayode Afolabi, the minister said: “The Federal Ministry of Health has done a lot to mitigate the effect of COVID-19 on children by training health workers in the states on key child interventions.
“We developed guidelines on the management of paediatric patients during the COVID-19 pandemic, which will specifically address isolation facilities for children in the healthcare institutions.
“We developed guidelines for infection control, specifically for the paediatric population. “We also provided a paediatric pandemic plan that will involve policy makers at all levels, through promoting the understanding of COVID-19 and how it affects children and how to tackle similar outbreaks in the future.”
The minister noted that as at January 8, 2021, the world had recorded 88,615,325 cases and 1,908,948 deaths, while Nigeria recorded 95,934 cases and 1,330 deaths. He added that the major drivers of the outbreak were both symptomatic and asymptomatic persons, infected with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) from whom the virus can spread. Ehanire said the Federal Government initiated the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 to provide high level strategic national response and activation of the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to co-ordinate the national public health response.