The National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria (NPMCN) stands in solidarity with the peoples of the world and citizens of Nigeria as we all endure the devastating health, economic and social effects of the Covid-19 pandemic ravaging all parts of the world including Nigeria. The NPMCN recognises the lives lost to the pandemic to the proportion of over 300,000 globally, 2,912 in Africa and over 190 in Nigeria as at 19th May 2020. There are over four million cases worldwide and about 6401 in Nigeria as at the same date.
The NPMCN appreciates the World Health Organization, other international health development partners, the Federal Government of Nigeria through the Presidential Coordinating Committee for COVID-19, the Federal Ministry of Health, the National Center for Disease Control (NCDC), the various State Governments, the Organized Private Sector, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in their efforts at mitigating the impact of COVID-19 on the global population and Nigerian citizens by providing leadership, and resources for preventing, detecting and treating Covid-19 patients. The NPMCN also commends actors in the Nigerian the private sector who have donated funds, and materials to fight COVID-19 and to mitigate the economic and social impact of the disease.
The sudden occurrence of COVID-19 spread globally caught every nation off guard and the resultant rapid rise in number of cases and deaths is a tragedy that is still unfolding and has not fully played out. As this unfortunate pandemic unfolds, Nations have witnessed health professionals caring for the sick at a great risk to their own health, and other essential workers who risk their lives to bring the needed services to citizens.
The NPMCN recognizes the essential need for the global research community to act collectively and for open science to control the spread of the virus. The NPMCN acknowledges the efforts of Nigeria researchers and scientists by joining these global efforts on research for mitigating measures, vaccines and therapeutic drugs production for COVID-19.
The NPMCN applauds the work of public health officials involved in testing, isolating and treating infected persons, tracing contacts and vigilantly urging communities to adopt such measures as social distancing to mitigate the spread of the virus. The NPMCN recognizes the challenges faced by developing countries including Nigeria such as inadequate access to clean water, inability to effect social distancing due to cultural and socioeconomic factors, inadequate dedicated isolation centers and hospitals to treat critically ill Covid19 patients and the concomitant reduction in resources for the care of non-Covid patients.
The NPMCN calls for strong support for developing countries like Nigeria from the international community in the area of providing testing reagents, testing swabs and other testing materials, personal protective (PPE) materials, ventilator equipment and proven therapeutic drugs and vaccines when they are available.
The NPMCN notes with pride that several of its Fellows are among the healthcare professionals in the frontline leading the fight against Covid-19. Several Fellows of the College are serving in different areas of the frontline, either as consultants in Infectious Diseases, Public Health Specialists and Epidemiologists involved in the unveiling of knowledge through research for treatment and in the control measures for Covid-19 among others. NPMCN further notes with appreciation and pride that many of its Fellows and associate Fellows are the direct frontline workers together with other health workers in the fight against the pandemic.
The NPMCN recognizes the furious and dangerous nature of this war, and condoles with the families of frontline healthcare workers who have lost their lives or their loved ones in the course of fighting this Covid-19 war. May their souls rest in peace.
The NPMCN Fellows and associate fellows working with other stakeholder can provide the needed expertise and scientific knowledge to respond to this crisis and guard against similar future events. We encourage Governments at all levels to leverage on this pool of experts. As we continue to review our strategies for conducting this war, the NPMCN calls for emphasis on the following:
- Collaboration between the Federal, and State Governments to work on policies, guidelines and implementation of mitigating factors, diagnostic methods, and treatment of Covid-19 patients.
- Provision of funds to strengthen research capability in the search for faster diagnostic tools, therapeutics, epidemiological patterns, socio-cultural determinants of spread, and vaccine development.
- Strengthening of capabilities of States and Local Government Authorities in the epidemiological work for field work in surveillance, active case search, contact tracing, and management of mild to moderate Covid-19 patients
- Further emphasis on the need of mass spread use of mask by all at all public places to partly make for our inefficient lock down and social distancing measures.
The NPMCN calls on all its Fellows and associate Fellows to continue to support the war on Covid19, WHILE PLAYING SAFE, by making their expertise available for the:
- Treatment of severely ill COVID-19 patients
- Provision of human resource skills for the diagnosis of COVID-19
- Involvement in coordinated action by leading scientists, universities, and research institutions in Nigeria to find appropriate cures for and vaccines against the virus.
- Involvement in coordinated action by governments and the private sector to strengthen the health care systems in developing
- Involvement in the mobilisation of policy makers, civil society and private sector and private hospital, pharmaceutical companies to collaborate with fellows and scientists to share scientific information to meet societal needs in Nigeria.
The NPMCN further calls on Governments at all levels to adopt a more holistic approach to human, animal and environmental health for the future. This will require more monitoring of potential emerging pathogens internationally and nationally to reduce the risk of such pathogens spilling over from wild animals or from other countries into our country; and to continually collaborate with other countries and international agencies, such as WHO and FAO, to implement proven measures that would prevent any such outbreak from reaching epidemic or pandemic proportions.
The NPMCN will conclude the statement on COVID-19 by emphasising the interconnectedness of the world. That in our efforts to work together and cooperate at the global and national stage with joint support, and a spirit of sharing, sincerity and honesty, we can prevail in containing COVID19 together and build a world that is better prepared for such crises in the future.
Endorsed by the Governing Board of the National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria through its Principal Officers.
Dr. M. M. Borodo, FMCP, PNMC
Dr. A. O. Osibogun, FMCPH
College Vice President
Dr. A. L. Ladiende, FMCDS
Dr. Owoidoho Udofia, FMCPsych