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We are out of crisis, not out of COVID-19, says Lagos commissioner for health

By Sunday Aikulola
07 April 2022   |   4:05 am
Contrary to beliefs in some quarters, Commissioner for Health, Lagos State, Prof. Akin Abayomi has disclosed that the nation is not yet out of COVID-19, but out of crisis.

Lagos State health commissioner Akin Abayomi

Contrary to beliefs in some quarters, Commissioner for Health, Lagos State, Prof. Akin Abayomi has disclosed that the nation is not yet out of COVID-19, but out of crisis.

Speaking at the 54th Annual Scientific Conference & General meeting of Nigerian Society of Neurological Sciences (NSNS) in Lagos, yesterday, he said, “We are out of crisis because after four waves, we now understood the protocols and how to manage COVID-19, but with the new variants and mutations, we still need to be careful.”

Abayomi said he acknowledged members of his team who gave almost exact predictions during the different waves of the pandemic.

He noted that conversations around neurological disorder are apt, urging NSNS members to come up with recommendations demanding what they wanted. He also stressed the need for more neurosurgeons in the country.

Chairman of the event and Minister of State for Health, Dr. Olorunibe Mamora, who was represented by Director of Clinical Services of Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Yaba, Lagos, Dr. Olugbenga Owoeye said effective strategy has to be developed, adding that the Ministry of Health is ready to collaborate members of NSNS in bridging gaps in neurological disorders.

MEANWHILE, Prof. Bola Adamolekun of University of Tennessee Health Science Centre, United States, stated that epilepsy affects more than 70 million people worldwide, mostly in middle-income and low-income countries.

In his presidential lecture on “Closing the Epilepsy Treatment Gap,” he said epilepsy is treatable and relatively inexpensive. He, however, said many people in sub Saharan Africa and low-income countries do not have access to treatment despite the relatively cheap therapy.

He disclosed that countries with poor primary health care services and those living in rural areas are likely to have high cases of untreated epilepsy, adding that the burden of untreated epilepsy is immense.

With the theme, “Multi-disciplinary Care and Collaboration in the Neurological Sciences,” Acting President NSNS, Augustine Adeolu, stated that there is need for collaboration, not only for research but optimum performance. He added that there is also the need to increase the number of more neurosurgeons. He said government could not do it alone, adding that there is need for private sector collaboration.

Chairperson of Local Organising Committee (LOC) NSNS 2022, Prof. Njideka Okubadejo, argued that neurological disorders remain the leading cause of morbidity globally.