Tuesday, April 21, 2020 12:57 pm
By Steve Aborisade
The outcome of our Covid-19 intervention, to a large extent, may be determined by not what we do now but, what we failed to do, before now.
Let us look at this scenario together.
The following private hospitals in Lagos have all shut down due to Covid-19 exposures:
St Nicholas, Vedic Lifecare Hospital, Premier Specialists’ Medical Centre and St. Edwards Hospital.
I was privy to the situation at the first hospital on the list.
These hospitals are all highbrow medical facilities with elite patronages. What their shut down implies is a history of community infection with individuals trooping to get treatment off the grid of the NCDC. This calls to question the protocol in place and the compliance level given earlier instances of cases from other private hospitals.
Of course, hardly will you see anyone of means seek medical help in our public health institutions. We should be concerned and, what should mostly concern us is the scope at which individuals have bypassed the system to get help. With my knowledge of our private healthcare delivery system, which majorly lies in the hands of quacks especially in poorer settings, only interested in making money, we can’t now predict the extent of the extra burden that our lack of stringent regulation or lax regulation in the healthcare sector will now add to our Covid-19 challenge.
To be sure, the NCDC, about four weeks ago gave indication of onset of community infections untraceable to the then index cases. So if we assume from what we are seeing now that perhaps and, despite all publicity efforts to get individuals to call the NCDC when they suspect infection, they have instead elected to seek alternative care for themselves, off the grid, what the next few days might yield should be of great interest to us.
That harvest could be separate from those whose preferences are the traditional medical practitioners, depending on how deep this has gone.
From the knowledge of managing HIV, considerable number of people won’t show up at all at the hospitals until it is already too late. Stigma is a big driver here, while Covid-19 stigma is already setting in. The hope is that our intervention have these figured out and, is prepared for what they portends.