By Bolaji Okunola
The Nigeria Infection Disease Society (NIDS) has proffered a solution to the raging COVID-19 pandemic. It stated this recently during its 2021 annual general meeting and scientific conference, at the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR), Yaba, Lagos.
Speaking on the theme “Implementing a national vaccine strategy during the COVID-19 pandemic,” head of the Infectious Disease Unit, Department of Medicine, University of Lagos, Dr. Iorhen Akase, and Kemi Adekanmbi, an infectious disease specialist from the Department of Medicine, University of Ibadan, stated that it was high time Nigerians got oriented on the consequences and solution to the pandemic.
The duo, however, hinted that regular awareness was paramount in eradicating the pandemic.
“We feel that our stronger scope is to get out of this pandemic. And we have been doing our best in terms of availability of vaccines and acceptability of the vaccine. These are all very strong issues and we all know government alone cannot do this. They need organizations or institutes like us and the media who have a voice in decision making. We need to find ways in which we can implement a strategy to overcome this.
“Secondly, we feel that the right messages need to be passed across in terms of this pandemic. Presently, we are not out of the woods in terms of this pandemic. So, awareness needs to be made so that people won’t take the pandemic for granted.
“At a point in time, the citizens learnt a lesson about the pandemic, which struck unexpectedly but, sadly, most people don’t know the damage this pandemic can do. And we have seen what it has done.
“So, it’s important for us to come out so that we can proffer solutions to this even though people are now getting used to it. We need pass more relevant messages aside from the wearing of nose mask, hand sanitizers and social distance,” Akase stated.
Adekanmbi said: “As we all know, COVID-19 has done a lot of damage to our usual activities. If anyone told us we woul all be wearing masks for over a year, I don’t think any of us would have believed it. And till date, the only weapon we have against this disease is the vaccine. Clearly, in this state, prevention is better than cure. We’re all aware that implementing a vaccine strategy will be one of the strongest solutions to this.”
The two-day conference, also saw Dr. Falsal Shuaib, Folashade Ogunsola, Sadiq Mohammed, Prof. Babatunde Lawal Salako, Prof. Phyllis Kanki and other medical practitioners dissecting the issue and recommending ways to tackle the virus.