The high death profile among medical personnel from infectious diseases in recent times have led the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA,) to admonish it’s members to observe universal precautions in handling diseases.
In a statement from the Lagos Chapter of the NMA, the group warned it’s members not to get emotional with handling patients with infectious diseases such as Lassa Fever but to take every measure in safeguarding themselves.
According to the statement signed by Drs Olumuyiwa Odusote and Sunday Luro, chairman and Secretary respectively, “It is pertinent to remind medical and dental practitioners and other healthcare professionals on the need for high index of suspicion in the course of the duty of care especially during history taking, physical examination and when undertaking basic procedure.
“This is more important as the first pointer to an outbreak is usually the death of an healthcare professional as we have seen in the current outbreaks in Ebonyi and Kogi States”, the NMA noted.
The Association further warned: “In addition to basic infection prevention and control measures, extra precautions should be taken whenever s patient presents with symptoms enumerated above especially the “wet symptoms” ie vomiting, diarrhoea and bleeding”.
NMA pointed out that there is more than before the need for medical practitioners to insist on being kitted with personal protective equipment and disinfectants.
They also called of the federal government and all stakeholders to immediately set in motion machinery to implement the National Health Act 2014 which establishes the Basic Healthcare Provisions Fund to be financed annually by not less than 1 percent of the Consolidated Revenue Fund, grants from international donors and other sources.
The doctors are equally charging the federal government to improve on budgetary allocation to Health to 15percent as agreed in 2001 at the Abuja Declaration saying, this is long overdue in the event of present circumstances.