Expert advises Nigerians to pay attention to infection prevention

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An infectious diseases physician, Dr. Iorhen Akase, has advised Nigerians to pay attention to infection Prevention as they have failed to learn from the COVID-19 experience.

Akase, Head of Infectious Diseases Unit, Department of Medicine, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, stated this in an interview, “That most people were in a hurry to move on with their lives forgetting that the country was still battling diseases such as monkeypox, COVID-19, Lassa fever, and Cholera, which are major public health concerns.

“If you go to some hospitals or organisations, processes for infection prevention control are no longer there, no running water, soaps to wash hands, no gloves.

“In communities, lessons that we are supposed to have learnt on being conscious about hand hygiene are now being neglected. Most people are in a hurry to move on with their lives.

“Unfortunately, when it comes to infectious diseases of epidemic potential, it is not only about the disease entity you are dealing with at that particular time.

“You have to start thinking of how to prevent the disease and other outbreaks that can come out later,” Akase said.

He appealed to the government to improve public sensitisation and engage the whole of society for effective pandemic preparedness and response.

According to him, there should be a budget for this kind of structure, hospitals have closed down all activation centres, and redeployed all staff with IPC expertise.

Some of the staff have travelled out of the country, so if another pandemic comes, Nigerians will go back to the scratch and start building processes and creating committees.

He said that the current situation was not the best global practice, noting that pandemics and large-scale outbreaks could claim millions of lives, disrupt societies and devastate economies.

Most infectious diseases can be controlled through effective preparedness and constant hand hygiene practice by citizens.

He appealed to the government to prepare for the next pandemic, and pay attention to climate change, rodent control, and housing standard, noting that they contribute to increasing interaction of humans and animals.

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