NIGERIA’S National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) has announced plans to unveil mobile testing and treatment vehicles as part of measures to combat the spread of the dreaded coronavirus pandemic.
By and large, Nigeria has been spared the worst excesses of the pandemic with just 288 people affected and seven deaths. However, the government has introduced a series of robust measures to combat the spread, including opening isolation centres, effecting lockdowns and inviting a team of Chinese medical experts to the country.
Taking things a step further, mobile testing and treatment vehicles will now be deployed to rural communities. Introduced by NASRDA, an agency under the Ministry of Science and Technology, the mobile testing vehicles were conceptualised as part of the Telemedicine Project for Rural Medical Services in collaboration with the ministry of health.
A prototype of the testing vehicles, which was unveiled at NASRDA’s headquarters in Abuja, was inspected by Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, the minister of science and technology. He described the vehicle, equipped with a bed, waiting room and laboratory testing facilities, as a game changer in the campaign against Covid-19.
A medical team, comprising ear and throat experts, was also attached to the vehicle. Dr Onu added that the federal government intended to extend the same quality of medical attention given to patients in Lagos to those in the rural areas.
Dr Onu said: “This is a game changer, as is essentially taking the hospital to the home with the facility we have here. With this facility, we will be providing telemedicine, we can deliver the same medical service.”
Furthermore, the minister added that the vehicles would be deployed in all parts of the country. Jonathan Angulu, NASRDA’s acting director-general, explained that the agency planned to take the telemedicine project to the 774 local government areas of the country.