NIGERIA’S battle to combat the debilitating coronavirus pandemic is being hampered by the continued exposure of healthworkers to danger as about 250 nurses and midwifes are currently being held in isolation.
So far, 5,450 Nigerians have been affected by the Covid-19 virus, of which there have been 171 fatalities, with the bulk of them in Lagos. However, the figures are still rising and the country’s poor health services are struggling to cope with the pandemic and this is compounded by the limited number of health workers available.
According to Abdurafiu Adeniji, the president of the National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives, almost 1,000 nurses and midwives have been exposed to coronavirus, out of which about 250 are currently on isolation and about 85 out of about 600 have tested positive. Speaking in Abuja to commemorate the 2020 International Nurses Week, he pointed out that healthcare workers need more protection if Nigeria is to overcome the pandemic.
Mr Adeniji said: “Over 2,000 Nigerian healthcare professionals, especially nurses and doctors have tested positive to Covid-19 while about 15 healthcare professionals have lost their lives. The World Health Organisation prescription is 40 nurses per 100,000 population, but Nigeria is operating five to six nurses to 100,000 population.”
He attributed the rising cases of coronavirus infection among nurses and midwives to the lack of adequate knowledge on how to use personal protective equipment while attending to infected patients. Mr Adeniji added that the nation’s health care system had been overstretched and on the verge of being overwhelmed, while calling on health workers to pay attention to their personal safety while attending to Covid-19 patients.