COVID-19: Surgeon calls for budgeting, data collection

By Nwaeze Agela

Dr. OUJ Umeora, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Ebonyi State University and Consultant Obstetrician/Gynecologist in Alex Ekwueme Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki, called on the Federal Government to shun politics and make adequate budgetary allocation for the health sector to help the country recover from the effects of Coronavirus pandemic.

Dr. Umeora spoke in Abakaliki during the 2020 Nigeria Medical Association, NMA, Ebonyi State branch physician week, with the theme : Strategies for Health System Recovery during the Covid-19 Pandemic in Nigeria.

He said that data collection would help the health system of the country even as he pointed that the virus exposed a lot of deficiencies in the country’s health sector.

He lamented that up to date, Nigeria doesn’t have accurate data of those affected by the virus while new infections have continued to be recorded across the country.

“The Coronavirus pandemic is an eye opener when it came into this country it made us realize that we have no health system , we are not ready for that pandemic it exposed a lot of deficiencies for the fact that we had no stock for PPES, the health Budget is so low, hospitals were not equipped there were no materials, health personnel’s were not motivated.

“Up till now we don’t have accurate data of who has the virus and who doesn’t have and this thing have continued for a lot of months and people are getting tired of the pandemic and the hospital system is crashing. You notice people don’t come to hospital even when they come to hospital you don’t see the doctor the doctors are either treating covid patient or they say don’t come, maintain social distancing.

“Everything is turned upside down so in other to recover the health system, the first thing is to believe, to know the fact. The fact is one , that the Covid is still here with us.

“We must collect data. It is data that will tell us where we are coming from and where we are going to, we must budget in research, in health personal and infrastructure and avoid Politics.

“We should avoid politics and be very pragmatic to improve the health care system.”

Chairman NMA, Dr Benjamin Umezurike and Chairman of the organizing Committee for the physician week Dr. Uzoma Agwu, in their separate remarks, commended the physicians for their dedication toward saving lives.

Umezurike called for team work among the health workers.

Our correspondent reports that the 2020 NMA physician week will also hold free cancer screening for Ebonyi people on Thursday December 3 as part of the activities marking the event.

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