The Nigerian Medical Association has faulted federal government decision to reopen schools across the country amidst COVID-19 second wave and increasing cases.
The association raises concerns and expresses fear that students,teachers in schools may not be saved against contracting the deadly coronavirus as a result of the recent increase in COVID-19 cases in the country.
Recall that the federal government had ordered schools in the country to reopen on January 18th, 2021 for the continuation of academic activities. The minister of education, Mallam Adamu Adamu who disclosed this insists that Nigeria at this point in time can not afford to keep shutting down schools, stressing that coming generations would be affected, He however urged schools to put in place, necessary measures and protocols against COVID-19 and adhere strictly to it.
But speaking on Monday, The President of the medical association, Prof. Innocent Ujah who was featured in a Television programme noted that Nigeria doesn’t have the data and statistics to know the particular schools that have put in place adequate measures to curb the spread of COVID-19.
In his statement, Ujah said; ”What we have been saying is that this Coronavirus pandemic is totally unprepared for and that has been since it started. But one year after, what lessons have we learnt? We know that students should go to school, and we know that they should maintain the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) protocol, but what have we done in schools?
”Whether it is a public or private school, injury to one is an injury to all. The truth is that we have no statistics as far as I know of the number of schools that are ready, whether public or private and what they should put in place. I think that we are very sentimental as a nation. Let us follow the advice of experts.”
”While we are saying that schools should reopen, we should be prepared and there should be monitoring. Who are those monitoring and supervising the process?
Even those who are not in schools are not obeying. How much compliance do we have amongst people on the streets to the NCDC protocols? The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has been singing that we need to comply.”
”Now, suddenly people are saying children should go to school but what evidence do they have? If the Ministry of Education says so, who are the supervisors and where do we go to monitor or to supervise the process? It is not just sitting on the roundtable and saying that we want the schools to be reopened and there should be no problem. We have suffered these because people do not listen to experts.”
”As an association, we have cautioned on all grounds, and our own is to advocate and bring out the scientific component and not the political and sentimental components of this pandemic. That is why we are facing what we are facing today. We are overwhelmed with the second wave, there are no oxygens, the hospitals are overwhelmed. Why should we wait until we are overwhelmed before we react? That is what we called emergency preparedness and response.”he added