Parents of university students and health workers have called on the Federal Government, as a matter of urgency, to provide safety equipment and train medical personnel working in all university clinics across the country in order to check and curb the spread of the COVID-19 before the resumption of varsity students.
This appeal was made by some of the parents who spoke to a group of journalists in Bauchi, expressing worries that universities may resume very soon. This is coupled with the fact that there is no evidence of any safety measures put in place to tackle the corona virus pandemic in university clinics across the country.
Speaking about this issue, Alh Isa, a parent, called on the FG to, as a matter of urgency, contact all relevant stakeholders for inputs and put in place every necessary and effective strategy that will ensure public safety before universities resumes.
He also said that the FG should ensure that medical doctors and other healthcare personnel in the Universities Health Centres across the country are trained adequately on coronavirus safety protocols before the resumption.
Alh Isa said: “In order to reduce the spread of COVID-19 pandemic among students, staff and the rest of community members on university campuses, adequate protective provision must be made.”
Another Parent, Mr Ezy Shallom, revealed that some of the doctors in the clinics need adequate knowledge on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), reiterating that, “with other essential medical consumables required in the discharge of their duties during this pandemic, the infection can be checked.”
He furthed: “There is a need to provide the university clinics with essential infrastructure including COVID-19 isolation centres, where suspected cases can be kept for sample collection, clinical evaluation and testing.”
Another respondent, a health worker in one of the universities, who preferred to stay anonymous, urged the Federal Government to pay doctors and other health workers working in the universities clinics their COVID-19 hazard and inducement allowances.
He said: “Allowances are paid to selective health care personnel under the Federal Ministry of Health but they refuse to do the same to doctors and other Healthcare Professionals under Nigerian Universities and institutions of higher learning.”
“Therefore, Universities should not be allowed to resume without adequately preventive measures put in place in addressing the dreaded virus,” the health worker stated.
In response to some questions, Vice-Chancellor of Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU), Bauchi, Professor Mohammed Abdulaziz, said in a telephone interview, that the University was making all efforts to adequately equip university clinics to handle the challenges of coronavirus pandemic.
The VC also said that the university management has set up a committee to work out modalities in the university that would provide safety equipment and training of staffs of the clinic before the students resume.
He explained: “The committee comprises stakeholders such as the clinic Medical Director, environmental department, Academics, ICT, among others to come up with a report and strategies on the provision of equipment to curtail the spread of coronavirus.
Mohammed Abdulaziz added: “The committee is to consider hand washing, physical/ social distance protocols in lecture halls as well as training on using PPEs and others.”
Source: Nigerian Tribune