The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 has urged health workers not to ignore patients with other health conditions on account of COVID-19.
Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) who doubles as the PTF Chairman, Boss Mustapha made the plea on Monday during the national briefing.
He explained that people living with non-communicable diseases such as hypertension and diabetes are more likely to suffer severe cases of COVID-19 and die.
He noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has reaffirmed the importance of everyone having access to quality health care that they can afford.
According to him, reports have shown that diagnosis and treatment for chronic conditions are among the most frequently disrupted health services globally.
“A rapid survey by WHO revealed that 41 countries in sub-Saharan Africa have reported disruptions to such services. It is of great concern to find that just when people with hypertension and other chronic conditions need support the most, many are being left out in the cold,” he said.
Reacting to the recent declaration of industrial action by the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU), the PTF Chairman said it is “rather unfortunate and capable of reducing our gains and endangering more loss of lives.”
He called on JOHESU to stand up to be counted at this critical moment because a continuation of the strike could jeopardize the small gains made in the fight against the virus and the efforts to transform the health systems.
He said the “Minister of Labour & Employment has assured that every effort is being made to resolve all issues and have JOHESU call its members back to work.”
Mustapha who noted that Nigeria continues to witness declining confirmed cases of COVID-19 said it suggested that the nation is winning the war.
He, however, added that “our focus should go beyond flattening the curve and ridding our land of this virus just as we did with the poliovirus.”