Daily Trust : 2020-10-16

Business : 32 : 32


DAILY TRUST, Friday, October 16, 2020 31 UNSUNG Like us on follow us on Twitter: Facebook.com/dailytrust @daily_trust By Ojoma Akor (Abuja), Richard Ngbokai (Kano), Risikat Ramoni (Lagos), Peter Moses (Abeokuta), Mohammed Ibrahim Yaba (Kaduna), Iniabasi Umo (Uyo) & Ado Abubakar Musa (Jos) A t height of the COVID-19 pandemic occasioned by panic over fear of the unknown, many health workers in Nigeria spent long hours attending to patients at isolation centres, conducting tests and providing public enlightenm­ent. Others, not necessaril­y health workers but people of good will, dedicated energy to researchin­g about the virus or finding innovative solutions such as the developmen­t of ventilator­s, face masks, and other Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Other health workers took it upon themselves to provide financial support or donated medical items to health facilities and government agencies. A lot of them were harassed by security agencies while on their way to work during the lockdown, and had to work several days without going home to see their families in order to protect them from the virus. According to Dr Japhet Olugbogi, the Lagos State Chairman of the Nigeria Medical Associatio­n (NMA)’s Committee on COVID-19, health workers made a lot of mental, physical, financial and profession­al sacrifices. He said while health workers were protecting the lives of residents, many of them were subjected to ridicule and harassment by security agencies. He noted that when Lagos residents were asked to stay at home, health workers were going to their respective workplaces and spent extra money to commute to their workplace and return home. He said a lot of them faced difficulti­es in terms of transporta­tion as they could not get any vehicle to work. He lamented that a lot of health workers could not get personal protective equipment (PPE) until they started making a lot of noise about it. “Though the government made some available, it was not enough. A lot of health workers had to attend to patients without PPE and that led to many of them getting infected, and taking the infection home. We recorded deaths among health workers as a result of this. “When the government sends soldiers to the battlefiel­d, they equip them with bulletproo­f, riffles, and other protective gear to prevent the enemy from attacking them. So, why were the health workers not having protective equipment?” he asked. “When I took COVID-19 test, my wife and kids did not have access to me for some days, this posed a mental burden on me. I was not myself until I found out that my result was negative,” he said. He said during the lockdown many health workers stayed at their workplace overnight without anyplace to buy food or drinks. Also, since the onset of the outbreak, health workers in Abuja and other states „ have been working tirelessly to prevent the spread of the virus as well as treating people who have been infected. They work round the clock at the various isolation centres without any life insurance, and allowances or incentives. visited the cement company’s plant at Ewekoro, Ewekoro Local Government Area of the state, where the young doctor detected the virus. The Italian, a consultant to Larfarge, had visited the cement factory’ facility in Ewekoro and reportedly developed fever and was treated at the clinic located in facility. The young medical doctor said that when the Italian patient walked into her consulting room at the factory, complainin­g of fever, headache and fatigue, she suspected instantly what his ailment was. “I had been following the news trends at the time so when he walked into my consulting room with his complaints, he had a fever, it was high grade, headache, muscle pain and fatigue. I took his medical history and he said he had just come from Italy ... so I knew it was likely COVID-19,” she said. Allison’s action paid off when the Italian was tested and the result showed positive. She received a lot of accolades from Nigerians including the state governor, Dapo Abiodun. Also in June, a group of medical personnel successful­ly took delivery of a 28-year-old COVID-19 patient who put to bed at the State Hospital, Ijaye in Abeokuta. Lady who detected first COVID - 19 case in Ogun In February, the first case of the coronaviru­s was detected in Ogun State through the ingenuity of a young female medical doctor, Dr Amarachukw­u Karen Allison. Allison works with the Larfarge Africa, a cement company. The first carrier of the deadly virus was an Italian who — Continued on page 32