NCDC Testing Method Not Realistic, Says NMA

Coronavirus injection
Coronavirus injection

The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has described as unrealistic the COVID-19 “smart testing” option used by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

The body made this known in a statement signed on Thursday by Francis Faduyile, the NMA president, and Olumuyiwa Odusote, the general secretary, saying the testing method has not revealed the real incidence of COVID-19 in the country.

The NMA said, “We appreciate the reasons advanced for the ‘smart testing’ option by the NCDC. However, it has become apparent that this method has not revealed the real incidence of COVID-19 in Nigeria,” it read.

“NMA, therefore, advocates fast-tracking of testing using innovative specimen collection and transport modalities to ameliorate this deficit in technique.

“The association is carefully studying the overall impact of the newly approved WHO’s home treatment policy for COVID-19 patients. While accepting the noticeable acute shortage of bed spaces available at the designated centres, NMA cautions that the peculiarities in Nigeria should be taken into consideration and therefore urges FG to adopt this new regulation.

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“Nigeria has an average of six persons per household; and consequently, wholesale adoption of this guideline may not be applicable here. We risk an explosive regime of community transmission if we adopt the guidelines completely without modifications, especially in situations of poor housing and overcrowding.

“Following from this, NMA is of the firm conviction that revamping our abandoned General Hospitals and Primary Health Centres will mitigate the challenges with home treatment and acute shortage of bed spaces.

“We still maintain that isolation and treatment centres should stand alone to avoid the nosocomial spread of this infection especially in settings of poor hygiene practices.”