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Nigerians need more education on COVID-19 pandemic — Scientists

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Nigerians need more education on COVID-19 pandemic — ScientistsNigerians need more education on COVID-19 pandemic — Scientists

By Chioma Obinna

Despite the fact that the positivity rate of COVID-19 has gone down in the last few weeks in the country, scientists have warned that the situation should not be considered as the country reaching the peak of the pandemic.

The scientists, however, advocated for more education of Nigerians on the COVID-19 pandemic as part of strategies to reduce the myths and misconceptions around the disease.

In his submission at a virtual media roundtable organised by the Nigerian Academy of Science, NAS,  a  Consultant Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Prof. Rotimi Jaiyesimi, said the country was yet to peak, adding that it was wrong to say the country has reached the peak of COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Jaiyesimi, Nigeria was far from flattening the COVID-19 curve.

READ ALSO: COVID-19: Ekiti reopens Primary, Secondary schools Sept 12, tertiary institutions Oct 2

In his presentation entitled:  “COVID-19 in Nigeria: Knowing the Myths and Facts.”, he “said: Nigeria has not reached the peak of the disease and far from flattening the curve. There is the need to dispel the myths and misinformation”

Continuing, he explained that having the virus does not mean you will have severe disease. The numbers of people who end up having severe cases are those with co-morbidities.

Jaiyesimi said the country needs more campaigns for people to understand that COVID-19 is real.

He pointed out that the country is currently facing a war against COVID-19 and misinformation shrouded in myths can hinder the progress in containing the pandemic.

“There is no vaccine; there is no definitive treatment.  Covid-19 is real and Nigeria has not reached the peak of the disease and far from flattening the curve, there is a need to dispel the myths and misinformation. Countering disinformation is a public service and the role of the Media is a critical success factor.”

He said at the war front it was essential for people to know where the enemy is, strike force, and the backup they have.

“These are vital strategies in defeating the enemy and the same can be said of the fight against COVID-19.  This is a new disease; the fear factor will not dispel the myths. Nigeria should be led by the evidence, collaborative work, learning from others, and educating the public including school children. A time like this, we need good political leadership and report accurately,” he said.

Speaking,  a professor of Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Pharmacokinetics, Chinedum Babalola in his topic, ‘Known Local Remedies that may be Useful for COVID-19 and the Need for More Research,’ said there are some bioactive compounds in plants used as spices, vegetables, and fruits that could boost the immune system against COVID-19.

He called for more research need for More Research on some bioactive compounds in plants used as spices, vegetables, and fruits that could boost the immune system against COVID-19.

On his part, Professor of Health Economics, Systems, and Policy, Obinna Onwujekwe said COVID-19 actually affects all the building blocks of the health system.

In his presentation entitled:  ‘Expenses and Health System Responses of COVID-19: What pointers for the future’, he said: “Governance, leadership and accountability, also health financing and service delivery are approaches to the health system response based on the health system building blocks.

Onwujekwe said: “The main issue with this block is what accountability mechanisms we have for the funding in Nigeria; I mean it’s not clear on what are the procurement systems and actual expenditure. So, I think, resource mobilization, to be useful to citizens should be accompanied by efficient ways of resources for accountability. Because if you don’t have such accountability mechanisms I’ll tell us exactly how the money has been used across any system. So this is, in terms of governance, leadership, and accountability,”

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