The Nigeria Medical Association has expressed concerns over the reopening of schools across the country.
Schools in many states across the Federation reopened for academic activities on Monday, January 18. This comes even as Nigeria battles the second wave of the COVID19 pandemic.
The President of the medical association, Prof. Innocent Ujah, in a Television interview, expressed concerns over the reopening of schools. According to Ujah, decisions made in Nigeria are most times sentimal and not based on the advice of experts. He averred that Nigeria doesn’t have the statistics to know the schools that have put in place adequate measures to observe the COVID19 protocols.
“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.”