July 12, 2024

Covid-19: LASG Agency Stigmatises Staff Survivor

A Lagos State Government Agency has been caught in the mesh of stigmatizing a staff survivor of covid-19 infection.

The staff survivor, Healthstyleplus learnt fell ill sometimes last December and voluntarily presented herself for the covid-19 test at the Infectious Diseases Hospital, Yaba where she tested positive and was promptly placed on treatment protocol.

Our Correspondent gathered that the medical personnel at the Hospital who reviewed the case of the staff explained that due to her presentation with mild symptoms she would be placed under the State Government’s home base care following the covid-19 protocol.

Our Correspondent also learnt that the affected staff was subsequently counselled by health officials to strictly observe all the guidelines of the home based care by staying in isolation and away from work for 10 days of treatment.

Director General NCDC, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu

We gathered that after the period of isolation and treatment, the staff called the IDH to enquire if she needed to undergo another test before resumimg work; but was told there was no need for another test since she did not degenerate within ten days.

“She was however told to stay a few more days at home and rest to complete two weeks of isolation” a close relation to the Journalist told Healthstyleplus.

“She even added a week to the two weeks given her for isolation by IDH and It was not until after three weeks of being in isolation that she finally decided to resume work moreso, since she was not having any new complaint”, we reliably gathered.

However, unknown to the staff, the management became uncomfortable when she showed up at work last Monday.

A senior manager of the Agency had to politely request her to immediately leave the office and return only when she has a negative test result to show before she can be permitted to stay at the workplace, “to be so sure no one is at risk and to allay fears of everyone you are okay”, she was reportedly told.

Healthstyleplus gathered that the affected staff protested being stigmatised as a survivor; but this fell on deaf ears of the manager who insisted she was acting in good faith to protect others.

She reportedly became distraught and emotionally traumatized as news filtered within the establishment and colleagues were talking in hush voices as she made her way out of the premises.

“You could see she was deeply hurt and pained when she had to leave office after making so much effort to explain to management what NCDC and LASG protocol on home based care is all about and that she is not infectious after duly completed her treatment regimen and rested in isolation for three weeks”, a colleague confided in Healthstyleplus.

Our Correspondent can however authoritatively disclose that, a Senior management staff of the frontline Agency which has incidentally been campaigning on Governor Babajide Sanwoolu’s THEMES Agenda especially about covid-19 home based care protocol is already making efforts to reach out to apologise to the staff survivor and to get her back to work.

We gathered that the Labour Union leaders of the Agency are geared to protest the stigmatization of one of its member by dragging the management before Head of Service, Alhaji Olayinka Muri-Okunola.

Our Correspondent also learnt that the affected staff survivor is reportedly aching from the emotional and Psychological trauma and feels betrayed by the management of the Agency for showing responsibility in disclosing her status after surviving the disease.

One of her colleagues told Healthstyleplus “It is a shame that as a frontline news agency with responsibilty of informing the public that covid-19 is not a death sentence and that no one should stigmatize survivors our establishment is enmeshed in this kind of saga”.

A quick check on the NCDC Guidelines on the Discharge Criteria for Covid-19 Infection shows:

5.1 Discharge Criteria 5.1.1 Symptomatic- 10 days after symptom onset, plus at least 3-days without symptoms (fever and respiratory symptoms). And:

5.1.2 Asymptomatic- “A person  should be discharged  from the covid-19 pathway 14days after the initial positive result (collection of sample)

NB: “A negative laboratory test is no longer required to discharge a covid-19 patient” states the NCDC Guideline



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