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Doctors seek infrastructural development, enabling environment to reduce brain drain

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*CMUL advocates employing strategic approach, basic hygiene to contain Lassa fever, coronavirus

In the wake of outbreaks of coronavirus and Lassa fever, medical experts have reiterated the need to set up infrastructures and employ a strategic approach to contain the menace.

The experts urged the public not to lose sight of basic hygiene like hand washing, sanitising, and proper sanitation among others.

Speaking at the College of Medicine University of Lagos, (CMUL), Alumni High Table and Fund Raising Dinner, Provost of College, Prof. Afolabi Lesi, said that Lassa fever symptoms are flu, cold, cough, and catarrh. He said teaching hospitals have improved response team to manage any outbreak.

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He noted that the ailment is endemic, advised the populace to be more aware of the environment and when someone is critically sick. “It is important to report to hospitals because the patient needs to be managed carefully and separately from the general population, Lesi said. Lesi said that the CMUL trains students to be globally competitive.

On the issue of brain drain, he continued: “Brain drain is one of the major factors affecting the healthcare space. It is a natural factor for people to move from place to place to improve their competencies, skills and acquire knowledge. The challenge about coming back and giving back is that the country has to provide an enabling environment for people to stay and it includes welfare and opportunity for young doctors to train.

“We do not have enough doctors, we are not producing enough doctors. It is not just increasing the capacity to train, because the capacity has to match the facilities on ground. The issue of brain drain is a multi factorial problem and it can be addressed by the government providing enabling environment to attract people back to the country.”

The pediatrician further stated that the yearly high table dinner was the tradition of the college to create an opportunity for alumni to get together and fellowship and also to focus on the various issues affecting the college. The provost disclosed that the alumni, stakeholders, and beneficiary of the college responded marvelously to last year’s fundraising by replacing the dental chairs at the dentistry department, which has become obsolete.

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He said the College could now boast of 20 brand new fully functional dental units, which has improved the quality of dental care for Nigerians.

Similarly, Chairman Organising Committee, Prof Oladapo Ashiru, said that in containing any epidemic like the coronavirus, aside quarantine, the first thing is to limit the entrance to the country and guide the country’s boarders.

Ashiru stressed that flight coming from China must be delayed and people can stay back till we have a control measure for the virus and beyond that, every household need to observe some basic hygiene principle to reduce the spread of the virus.

He said that the source of Lassa fever is from a rat infestation, stressing that all foods must be sealed in a container or kept in the fridge to avoid being exposed.

Ashiru disclosed that the Lagos State Government was making a lot of efforts to alert doctors and hospitals and also giving public awareness on what to do to prevent Lassa fever and also stated that the government has just provided funds to get surveillance equipment for the ailment.

“We expect significant contributions from the fund raising, the evolution and progress of medical school and infrastructure are being provided by government funding but the government cannot do it alone. So, the alumni, as a way of giving back would contribute its own quota to ensure that quality medical personnel are produced,” he added.

Also, National Chairman, CMUL, alumni association, Dr. Ajiboye Adeyeye, said the event was extremely significant because of the infrastructural deficit affecting the college.

He said it important for the alumni to come to the rescue of the college by organising such events, seek for funds and develop the college stating that various alumni set have come to the rescue of the college by reconstructing the toilet and hostels, maintaining the lawns, offered scholarships among others.

The chairman said that the quality doctors of produced at the college are equipped and prepared to respond to an emergency to any epidemic.

Adeyeye continued: “What I am not sure of is the preparedness of the system to support the doctors because the doctor would know what to do, but it is a different thing to know what to do and it is another thing for things you need to respond to be available. I just hope that the government and the system would be ready to match the preparedness of the doctors.”

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