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COVID-19: Era of stigmatization, dramatization in Anambra over – NMA

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Emma Elekwa, Onitsha

Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) in Anambra State has allayed fears over stigmatization and dramatization of COVID-19 pandemic in the state.

Chairman of the body, Dr. Jide Onyekwelu disclosed this on Wednesday at the ongoing 2-day training on COVID-19 Infection Prevention and Control (IPC), urging patients to report to hospitals anytime they felt any symptoms of the virus for quick medical attention.

He admitted the initial dramatization of the pandemic which resulted to stigmatized of suspected patients, assuring that such situations were no longer obtainable.

He said, “Many sick persons are afraid of going to hospital because of fear of being neglected and would be branded COVID-19 patients simply because they have fever.

“This is not true. I must confess that initially, there was much dramatization of the pandemic which led to some stigmatization of patients. But those have all been removed.

“No doubt, COVID-19 is very infectious, but not very deadly. Out of 100 people with the infections, probably one or two will die, but the remaining 97 will survive, with or without medicine.

READ ALSO: COVID-19: Nigerians dying of other illnesses due to neglect

“Initially, there were precautions from the Federal Ministry of Health that only designated hospitals will treat COVID-19. But because of the constraints in making appropriate diagnoses early enough, it’s been liberalised.

“Every health facility can handle suspected COVID-19 case. You no longer need to wait for confirmatory results to come out. Sometimes, before the results come out, the patient has recovered.

“People should not be afraid of reporting to hospital when they notice any of the Covid-19 symptoms. Don’t stay at home. Even if they brand it COVID-19, there’s treatment.

“If you don’t go, you may have complications. But if you go, the chances are minimized. There’s no stigmatization and no drama about it.”

Earlier, Commissioner for Health in the state, Dr. Vincent Okpala applauded the NMA leadership for the Initiative, expressing optimism that the training would boost the confidence of the doctors and decrease adverse outcome.

“The healthcare workers are going to learn more about how to stop the infection spread from patient to health workers, and vice versa. Having an informed health care provider, creates a confident one,” he added.

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