Working with limited resources in a healthcare system that is, in itself, sick and trying to ‘treat’ people infected with a virus that currently has no cure, one must not fail to give kudos to doctors who are risking their own lives to save others.
But while we give kudos to doctors and medical practitioners that are currently in our faces and giving us updates, we also need to ensure that we extend our praises and thanks to every single person that is risking his/her life to help fight COVID-19 and ensure that patients are hale and hearty and again. These people work ‘behind the scenes’, but also work equally hard.
Nurses are heroes. The only difference is that they don’t wear capes. Nurses are relentless in their efforts to ensure that their patients are well taken care of. In most cases, the wellness of the patients depends on how well they are taken care of by the nurses. This is the time to help nurses in Nigeria by giving them extra pay, providing them with protective gears – face masks, gloves and so on and relief materials – food, water, toiletries and so on. Just ensure they are comfortable enough to treat infected persons.
In 2014, a Nigerian nurse, Justine Ejelonu, died after taking care of Ebola patient, Patrick Sawyer. Her colleague, Omolola Olatayo, described the nursing profession as “a humanitarian profession, an accolade of human dignity, a susceptible to danger profession”. Nurses are selfless people who are caring and empathising – even in the face of death. As COVID-19 sweeps through Nigeria, we must, in all ways, not just appreciate their efforts and sacrifice, but provide the necessary materials with which they will effectively work against the disease.
Although they are few, we have practising virologists in Nigeria. These virologists are working day and night to study the COVID-19 virus and discover the cure to it. For instance, the first Coronavirus case in Nigeria was confirmed by the Virology Laboratory of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital. This pandemic is a call for Nigerians and the Nigerian government to build more virology and research institutes – just like the Centre for Human Virology & Genomics (CHVG), and provide better opportunities for virologists to practice what they have studied in schools. It is high time Nigeria started investing money in research and disease control, so we will avoid the ‘fire brigade’ method of responding to pandemics.
As we hail our doctors and nurses who are at the forefront of this ‘battle-field’, we must not forget our virologists who are working hard to find a cure to this pandemic.
Ever been in an emergency situation before and you have to run errands every second? Then you’ll understand what janitors are going through during this pandemic. In the midst of running about and getting nurses and doctors the necessary things to treat the patients with, there’s a high chance of them getting infected with the virus.
Even if they are not infected, they are also putting in much work to ensure that we win the fact against COVID-19.
They are the first set of people who come in contact with an infected person – right at the gate.
With many people being asymptomatic, it is very easy for security personnel to be infected when they come in contact with people trooping in and out of hospitals.
So yes, it’s beyond just opening and closing the gate, their lives are in danger with the spread of this virus in Nigeria.
You, you and you
You need to appreciate yourself too – but only if you follow instructions and stay at home. By practicing social distancing and remaining indoors, you’ll stop the spread of the virus and reduce the workload of our medical practitioners. Going out is equal to infecting more people, which equals to overwhelming already strained doctors and nurses and overstretching the already insufficient medical kits. This will eventually lead to more deaths. Let’s be responsible by sitting in our homes.
To everyone working hard to ensure that we beat Coronavirus, we say well done and a huge thank you.
But that’s not enough, guys, let’s ensure we donate to make their work easier and give them all the support and encouragement that we can.