Response by the Honorable Minister of State For Health, Dr. Olorunnimbe Mamora to questions filled by journalists during the PTF Briefing on Monday, 24th August, 2020
On the training of healthcare workers on infection, prevention and control:
Thank you very much for your question which has to do with Infection, Prevention and Control (IPC) protocol. We did say that the World Health Organisation (WHO) has already helped in this regard by training 50,000 health workers and the target is to go up to 200,000.
Let me start by thanking the WHO and other agencies that have helped us in this our cause to defeat COVID-19, of course the WHO, the European Union (EU), African Centre for Disease Control (ACDC), West Africa Health Organisation (WAHO), Non Governmental Organisations (NGO's) and so many individuals that has helped in one way or the other, either through material support or training of personnel especially in the area of human resource for help.
Now to start with, you will agree with me that even the number of 200,000 which is the target, even if it is met for the whole of Africa, that is still small, but you want to acknowledge and thank them for even assisting. So what that ordinary tells me is that we need as individual countries in Africa to own the programme itself, that is, the training programme for our health workers in Infection, Prevention and Control. Every State, every nation, within the Africa region should be able to, and that's what we are doing.
Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) is doing so much, so well, even in that regard and the NCDC has time again, trained a number of health workers you know, in this regard. Like I did say, I know that Africa Centre for Disease Control was also on hand sometimes ago to do same in terms of training of our health workers in the area of Infection, Prevention and Control, so that's the first thing I think.
I think the next thing to say is that because you were asking of the strategies that we are looking at, so for me, the first thing is to own the programme itself. The second thing for me is the need for us to even have Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) factories as it were, so that we don't have to import, the more of these things that we have produced at home, the better for us.
It is also important to talk about the issue, because part of the training again is the judicious use of the PPEs, so that you can also combat infection because often times, its not just having PPEs but if the use of the PPE is not properly done, you can still have infection, I mean health workers being infected; and again, these are things ordinarily that we should be doing on routine basis, that's another part of strategy, that is, we get to do things routinely so that it is not when we have a situation like this that we go on crash programmes and I call it, fire brigade approach. These are things that should go on as a matter of routine. Just like we are talking about our immunization, we don't need to wait until there is an outbreak, that is why we talk of routine immunization programmes as suppose to fire brigade immunization programme. It is the same for IPC training, it should be a part of the strengthening of the health system that we need to engage in. So for me, these are just some of the things that we should continue to put in place and I'm sure that NCDC is very much aware of this and doing it's best in that regard, thank you very much.
Compiled by Blessing Efem.
Olujimi Oyetomi, Director, Information, Media & Public Relations, FMOH.