AbdulRazaq tasks physicians on COVID-19, public health issues

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Emmanuel kehinde,Ilorin 

Gov AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq on Monday called on relevant stakeholders in the health sector to strengthen mechanisms towards taming public health issues around the world. 

AbdulRazaq made the call in Ilorin, while speaking at the 2023 Faculty Day lecture, organised by the Faculty of Public Health and Community Medicine, National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria.

The theme of the Faculty Lecture was entitled: “Leading Outbreak Response in a Nigerian Tertiary Hospital: the Excitement, the Frustrations and the Lessons Learned”.

The Governor commended the Faculty and health specialists for their great efforts in saving humanity at every turn.

He observed that the United Kingdom is having a resurgence of COVID-19, adding that we must not let down our guards because it is very important since it is a public health issue. 

“We truly appreciate the work you are doing. In Kwara here, we were able to manage COVID-19 pandemic. 

“Africa was able to manage COVID-19 than many other continents, and this is largely due to your commitment,” he said.

He observed that the theme of the lecture brings to live the memory of the joint effort that was committed to rid our communities of COVID-19. 

“What we achieved, both as a nation and specifically here, was an outstanding enabler, which gave us a practical opportunity to evaluate the health system we inherited,” he said. 

AbdulRazaq urged medical doctors to work harmoniously with all other members of the health team for better results. 

He stated that the administration concentrated on addressing the infrastructural by fixing well over 57 health care facilities, among others. 

“We also made multi-pronged Malaria elimination interventions accessible to all Kwarans amongst others.

“We are hopeful that addressing attrition challenges in human resources, in this way, will tremendously reverse the JAPA trend and enable us to retain more good hands and make our state attractive for more specialists to join us in providing quality health care to our people,” he said. 

In his Lecture, Prof Adedeji Onayade, a Professor of Public Health, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State,  identified factors that mitigates executing effective response in disease outbreaks to

 include limited resources and strained facilities.

Others, he said are communication barriers, the rapid spread of false or misinformation, rumour, and myth mongering through the social media.

“Amidst these excitements and frustrations, valuable lessons are learned.

“Each outbreak response provided an opportunity for reflection, improvement, and building resilience for future challenges.

“For example, based on the experience with Ebola, active members of the COVID-19 committee were volunteers who committed to the response,” he added.

Onayade also described disease outbreak as a security issue and called on policymakers to maximize the large pool of expertise available in the departments of community health/Medicine within the tertiary institutions during outbreak of diseases.

He described outbreaks as sudden rise in the number of cases of disease in a community or geographical area which affects several countries lasting for days, weeks or years. 

“Since all emerging epidemic communicable diseases are zoonotic, the need for collaboration with the veterinary departments for surveillance information sharing cannot be overemphasized more so with the rapid expansion of small, medium and large scale animal farming,” he said. 

Also in his remark, Dr Chikaike Ogbonna, the Faculty Chairman said the Governor has blazed the trail in his prompt attention to health issues, including the recent approval of 100 percent CONMESS and skipping allowance for medical doctors and consultants in the state.

Ogbonna commended AbdulRazaq for honouring the Faculty with his attendance, charging him to continue along that path.

High light of the programme include presentations of awards to AbdulRazaq and other outstanding public health physicians.

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