By Tobias Lengnan Dapam
The Managing Director of the Society for Family Health (SFH), Dr Omokhudu Idogho, has warned against complacency and premature jubilation.
Idogho, was reacting to the jubilation by many Nigerians over relaxing of the lockdown by the federal government.
He said Nigeria and other African nations cannot afford to celebrate the slow increase in the number of COVID-19 infections or be complacent now.
“…Africa has defied some of the initial scary projections on the growth path of the pandemic, some of which had suggested that 45 countries will have more than 10,000 cases by this first week of May. Reviewing this against the literal doubling of Nigeria’s cases from 1,095 cases as of the 24th April 2020 to 2,017 cases as of 1st May 2020 – this increase within a one-week period, and the on-going expansion of testing would suggest that we take another look at these projections – rather than the emerging euphoria and complacency that Africa has an alternate pathway for COVID-19 transmission,” Dr Idogho said in a statement on the COVID-19 situation in African nations, particularly Nigeria.
“I will strongly suggest an alternate approach based on a cautious and proactive reflection on these numbers as, unfortunately, we are unable to work out where we are on the infection curve,” he added.
Warning that COVID-19 is one case where people must ensure that complacency does not take a hold on both sides of leadership and followership, the statement recalls “the bitter experience with the HIV epidemic that saw the continent lose a significant number of its productive workforce and deepened the prevailing gender stereotype with women and girls as caregivers, and took the continent backward.”
Any complacency will see a worse situation than what the continent faced with AIDS and Ebola combined, Dr Idogho further warned.