Covid-19: Hospital pharmacists caution Federal, State Governments over increase in spread
*Call For Intensified Mass Testing, Provide NCDC With Strategy To Increase Testing Capacity
The Association of Hospital and Administrative Pharmacists of Nigeria (AHAPN) has cautioned the federal and state government over the ease of the lockdown, warning that the spread of the virus could escalate, putting the nation and healthcare workers in danger.
The association, which expressed concern over the safety of pharmacists in all government hospitals and communities, especially with inadequate provision of personal protective equipment (PPEs), warned that Nigeria must avoid the experiences of other countries that have lost hundreds of healthcare workers including pharmacists, medical doctors, nurses and others to COVID-19.
In a release signed yesterday by its National Chairman, Kingsley Chiedu Amibor and National Secretary, Hafiz Ola Akande and available to The Guardian, noted that the provision of PPEs, especially surgical face masks and hand gloves for pharmacists in all government hospitals and those in community service, who are usually the first port of call by all manner of patients, including carriers of COVID-19 and those with active disease in extreme cases, has become inevitable. They said while the cost of surgical facemasks is currently “too exorbitant” and inadequate in a country with about 200 million inhabitants, the government should as a matter of urgency, approve and subsidise cost of importation of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) necessary for local manufacturing of hand sanitizers and other protective products in the country by the pharmaceutical industry.
They also called on the need to step up mass community testing of the population with a view to ascertaining actual cases and isolate such before more damage is done.
The pharmacists said, though, the current method of testing using conventional procedure has served well, with the onset of community transmission, mass testing using rapid diagnostic test kits has become inevitable.
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