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COVID-19: Enugu committee faults stigmatization, low compliance



COVID-19: Enugu committee faults stigmatization, low compliance

The 12-man Ad hoc Expert Medical Advisory Committee (EMAC) set up by the Enugu State Government has blamed the stigmatization of patients and low compliance with stipulated safety measures as impediments to the fight against the transmission of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the State.

The committee made this observation during the June 29, 2020 meeting with allied health workers and the management of the Neuropsychatric Hospital in Enugu.

It will be recalled that the State Government had set up the committee to recommend the appropriate ways to de-escalate the transmission of the deadly virus.

In his remarks, the Chairman of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, (PSN), Enugu state chapter, Pharm. Festus Ejiekpe reiterated the need for the government to impose stiffer measures towards ensuring stricter compliance with the protocols enunciated by the World Health Organisation (WHO), the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the state government.

Ejiekpe also faulted the stigmatization of COVID-19 patients as another obstacle to the fight against the spread of the disease, calling on the relevant authorities to strive to check such unhelpful practices.

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According to the PSN chairman, such stigmatization has led some people with COVID-19 symptoms to resort to self medication or buying off-the-counter drugs from urban and rural pharmacies than seek proper diagnosis in the hospitals.

The PSN members also advocated mass enlightenment of the populace as other means of the containment of the spread of the killer virus. The team equally emphasized the need for the use of face masks, regular hand washing and the maintenance of other personal hygiene practices.

Earlier in his speech, Prof. Ejim and other members of EMAC took turns to implore the members of various health professionals in attendance to join hands with the state government towards halting the spike in the transmission of COVID-19 infection in Enugu State.

The committee also met with the Medical Director of Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Enugu,Dr. Monday Igwe, the Head, Clinical Services (HCS), Dr. Vincent Ubochi alongside other high-ranking officers during which the parties agreed on the urgency to enforce strict compliance in the markets, churches and other public places.

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