The Akwa Ibom State branch of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), has told government to prioritize on training and re-training of medical personnel in order to have less panic and more coordinated efforts in containing the outbreak of COVID-19 disease in the state.
This was among the recommendations given by the NMA during a public lecture to create awareness on COVID-19 and Lassa Fever.
Speaking at the event, a Professor of respiratory medicine, Ettete Peters urged Akwa Ibom State government to immediately set up an isolation tent that can accommodate 20 persons to serve as a focal point for management of suspected cases of COVID-19 disease should need arise in the state.
He also advocated for stockpiling of personal protective equipments including face masks in event of an outbreak in the state.
Professor Peters who is the immediate past Chief Medical Director of the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital, said in the long-term, an establishment of a standard fifty bedded isolation center will be needed in the state.
The fifty bedded isolation center would have equipped airborne infection isolation rooms and have up to ten ventilators as well as central medical oxygen concentrator for ease of distribution of medical gas.
Also speaking at the public lecture on Lassa Fever, the state Epidemiologist, Dr Aniekeme Uwah, called for good environmental and personal hygiene, better food handling and storage, rodent control and barrier nursing, while noting that safe burial practices, good laboratory services and active surveillance were some of the ways Lassa fever could be prevented and managed.
Both guest lecturers pointed to regular hand washing and use of sanitizers as ways of preventing both COVID-19 and Lassa Fever.
The chairman of NMA , Akwa Ibom State branch, Dr Nsikan Nyoyoko while thanking the guest lecturers for the knowledge imparted said it was expedient to organize the public lecture due to recent cases of COVID-19 and Lassa Fever in the country.
The public lecture was attended by Medical personnel, clergymen, the military and para-military, Traditional rulers, Journalists, opinion leaders and members of the public.