COVID-19: NMA Urges Healthcare Workers to be More Safety Conscious

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Warns members to consider everyone as a suspected COVID-19 case

The Lagos State Chapter of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has urged all her members and all frontline healthcare workers to be more safety conscious at this time and adhere very strictly to the Nigeria Centre for Diseases Control (NCDC) COVID-19 guidelines.

In a statement signed by the State Chairman of the association, Dr Adetunji Adenekan and the Secretary, Dr Ime Okon, made available to Pharmanewsonline on Thursday, the association lamented the increased rate of infections (morbidity) and deaths (mortality) among members of the Lagos Chapter in the past few weeks, describing it as very shocking.

The association therefore alerted members and all health workers of the rapidly rising number of confirmed COVID- 19 cases amongst healthcare workers across the state and urged them to tread with caution. As a way of ensuring utmost precaution, the association warned her members to consider everyone as a suspected case, hence they should protect themselves.

It specifically directed her members and all health workers in the state to wear face masks at all times in public spaces, avoid touching mouth, eyes and nose with unclean hands and as well as use Personal Protective Equipment, PPE correctly at all times in the line of duty.

The statement reads in parts “The events of the last few weeks have been quite unprecedented & very shocking within the medical community of our beloved state, following the increased rate of infections (morbidity) and deaths (mortality) of our most cherished members of the Nigerian Medical Association, Lagos Chapter.

“It is with a heavy heart that our most affectionate Chairman, Dr Adetunji Adenekan, on behalf of the State Officers Committee of the Nigerian Medical Association, Lagos State, wishes to commiserate with the families of our members who have succumbed to the most dreaded COVID-19 disease at these precarious time in Lagos State. May their souls rest in perfect peace.

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“Consequently, we consider it very imperative, to bring to our urgent attention, while emphasising, the rapidly rising number of confirmed COVID- 19 cases amongst healthcare workers across the metropolis.

“We most sincerely appeal, to all members of the Nigerian Medical Association, Lagos State and all frontline healthcare workers to be more ‘safety’ conscious at this time and ‘adhere’ very strictly to the NCDC COVID-19 guidelines (Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions and other preventive protocols) in the course of discharging our duties and when in other public space.

“We also emphasise the need for a very high index of suspicion amongst healthcare practitioners & providers particularly during this unpredictable second wave in Lagos State. Consider everyone as a suspected COVID-19 case, and ensure universal precautions always.

“Lastly, we hereby recommend the following (though not exhaustive) as basic COVID-19 infection prevention control guide as we carry out our routine duties: Wear your face mask at all times in public spaces, avoid touching your mouth, eyes and nose with unclean hands, wash your hands regularly under running water with liquid soap/ or sanitise with alcohol based sanitizer ‘for at least 20 seconds’, use your PPEs correctly at all times in the line of duty, avoid  crowded places and maintain physical distancing (at least 1-2m) in public gatherings.

“In the event of the experience of any COVID-19 related symptoms (fever, cough, fatigue, anosmia, dysgeusia, malaise, breathlessness etc), do not keep to yourself, urgently seek medical attention. Stay Safe, Take Responsibility for your Health and Wellbeing”, the statement said.

 

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