Kindly Share This Story:By Chioma Obinna
Lagos State Health Commissioner, Prof. Akin Abayomi, has called for synergy among private and public medical personnel to combat and defeat the coronavirus like Ebola Virus.
Abayomi who spoke at a Health Summit organised by the Association of General and Private Medical Practitioners of Nigeria, AGPMPN. Thursday in Lagos also noted the need for health workers to instil confidence among the populace as well as ensure that health facilities do not stop operations.
The State Commissioner for Health at the summit entitled: ”Re-positioning Healthcare Delivery in Lagos State: A Synergy Between Government and Private Sector” observed that 70 per cent of healthcare delivery in the state was by private medical practitioners.
“The collaboration of the private and public medical personnel is needed to defeat coronavirus disease just like Ebola Virus. With the declaration of COVID-19 as a global pandemic by WHO, health workers are front line combatants.
“It is important for health workers to protect themselves, instil confidence and ensure that our facilities do not shut down.
“If in this situation, doctors and nurses are running away, there will be fear, that’s not a situation we want to see,” he said.READ ALSO: COVID-19: Kwara govt directs civil servants to work from home
Abayomi said the chances were high that Nigeria might receive another case of COVID-19, stressing that government was intensifying its surveillance efforts at all points of entry.
According to him, recent data from Lagos Bureau of Statistics show that slum communities in Lagos have increased from 68 to 650 slums, with about 3,000 people relocating to the state from different parts of the country daily.
He noted that congestion would drive rapid transmission of an outbreak if allowed at the community level.
Abayomi stressed that the government’s strategy was to cast a tight net on any case that came into the country, saying that AGPMPN played an important role in assisting the government in its containment efforts.
According to him, the association is represented at the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) to keep them abreast with strategies and brainstorm on moves to take in containing the virus.
He urged health workers to get equipped, exercise a high level of suspicion with patients and ensures proper history was taken from patients.
The commissioner said that the government was working on reviewing the Access to Finance plan to enable private facilities to access low-interest loans, stressing that government appreciated the vital role played by health workers in the society.
Speaking, Wife of Lagos State Governor, Dr Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu said the outbreak of COVID-19 and Lassa fever had made it pertinent for private medical practitioners to collaborate with government.
Represented by the Medical Director, Ibeju-Lekki General Hospital, Dr Folasade Fadare, she said the partnership with the state government would reduce disease burden and boost the state’s health indices.
Earlier, a Public Health and Epidemiology Specialist, and former Chief Medical Director, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Prof. Akin Osibogun called for inter-sectoral collaboration and health in all policies to enhance health status.
He stressed the need for urgent attention to the implementation of the National Health Act and enactment of the National Hospitals Commission.
On his part, AGPMPN Chairman, Dr Tunji Akintade, said that stakeholders convened the summit out of a strong desire to enhance healthcare delivery in the country.
Akintade said that with the collaboration of the private and public medical personnel, COVID-19 just like Ebola Virus could be defeated in the country.