The President of the Nigeria Medical Association Professor Innocent Ujah has called for greater collaboration between Nigerian doctors and their Chinese counterparts in the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Professor Ujah who spoke in Abuja, noted that Chinese doctors have shown capacity in containing the virus after the outbreak was first reported Wuhan, China. He however noted that Nigeria has not have a huge success in containing the virus,
“unlike China who within 72 hours of the outbreak of the virus, constructed a huge isolation/treatment centre for containment of the virus. In Nigeria, I would say we neglected the magnitude of the problem covid-19 could pose to us and were therefore slow in our response. The effect is a current trend of increasing cases of community spread”
He said that although, isolation centres now exist in all states of the federation for containment of the virus more need to be done to foster the joint collaboration between China and Nigeria.
He recalled that on the 17th of June, a video conference was held on a Special Summit on China-Africa solidarity Against Covid-19 in which China pledged to provide more medical supplies to Africa noting that the NMA and China Medical Association need to work together, share ideas and scientific experiences in order to contain covid-19 and other health challenges.
“Through this healthy bilateral relationship, our medical personnel can travel down to China to learn from China’s handling of covid-19 and other infectious diseases. In turn, China Medical Personnel can as well come to Nigeria to learn from our handling of infectious diseases. We all know the professionalism and success Nigeria showed in the handling of Ebola and it shows that our medical personnel are equal to any medical challenge and willing to learn as well” He said.
Speaking on his plans for the NMA, he said the health status of Nigerians was his priority through provision of facility and capacity development.
” As head of this association, we would also push for improved budget allocated to Health care as the health care system has received one of the lowest allocations in recent times and the outbreak of covid-19 exposed the status of our health care system. The NMA in my tenure as president would also push for the creation of a Bank of Health to support Health care just as the Banks of Industry and Agriculture supports Trade and Agriculture respectively. He said.
Reeling out recent achievements of the association he said more women are being incorporated into leadership positions in the association and the laying of a foundation for the NMA house which should be completed in 2 years.