Life is almost getting back to normal here in Nigeria amidst the pandemic. Going out without masks have become a thing and claiming corona virus is a scam is the new way. Well, dear Nigerians, in this write up I will tell you why you need to wear a mask now more than ever.
First of all, permit me to tell you that both the Nigerian government and her citizens are almost tired of this pandemic. The pointers are clear enough on this; mismanagement of funds, contacts of NCDC not going through and preferential treatment of patients.
Remember when corona virus started in Nigeria, the government swung into action. A lot of money was donated and raised to combat the pandemic. Isolation centers really took care of the first patients who had COVID-19. This initial group was mainly made up of the elite class. Having COVID-19 in Nigeria would’ve been better that time, not now.
Currently, the fear of the virus has reduced, private hospitals have opened up again to patients, private labs are now testing for the virus, schools and airports are open and churches too are open. We’re back to the usual game.
Interestingly this usual game means that you might need some level of connection to get admitted in an isolation center currently. No one is likely to pick your call if you have symptoms of COVID-19, you may be left with the option of going to private facilities to get treatment. Do you know how much that can cost?
I know you’re probably thinking Chloroquine and Hydroxycholoquine, right? Well, Wikipedia defines “A cure is a substance or procedure that ends a medical condition, such as a medication, a surgical operation, a change in lifestyle or even a philosophical mindset that helps end a person’s sufferings; or the state of being healed, or cured. The medical condition could be a disease, mental illness, disability, or simply a condition a person considers socially undesirable, such as baldness or lack of breast tissue”.
With the above definition, you do not need anyone to tell you that neither chloroquine nor hydroxychloroquine is a true cure for COVID-19. If it were, then at any time T, it should elicit the same effect in ALL patients it is treated with. Hence, all the symptoms must either be abated or minimally reduced and patient’s mortality reduced to almost 0%.
That being said, I am here to remind you that this is a very wrong time to have COVID-19 in Nigeria. You need to still mask up and here are a few reasons why you need to wear a mask, together with observing other guidelines for preventing COVID-19
Firstly you need to wear a mask because masks are still effective in preventing COVID-19
Secondly, in Nigeria surgical masks cost just roughly about N150 and no you must not throw it away after first use. Click here to read how to preserve the efficacy of your face masks. Hydroxychloroquine which is yet to be proved as an effective cure yet, retail at about N50,000. Can you imagine the actual cost of a cure, when it comes out?
Again, the chance that you can get a space in isolation centers in Nigeria currently is low. Most bed spaces are filled up, the health care team is saturated and government commitment to offer free treatment is far dwindling. Some private establishments are taking up the charge to treat COVID, but can you imagine what it will cost you to be treated of COVID-19 in a private hospital? You need to wear a mask.
Another reason you need to wear a mask is because, you can put your loved ones at risk too. Granted you may recover from COVID without treatment just like in the story here, but will your siblings and parents respond same way to the virus you probably gave them? Sometimes it is just better to wear a mask, observe other safety measures and never find out.
Dear Nigerians, we need to wear mask and not just that. We need to make sure everyone around us wears a mask. We need to fight and win this together, we can, we should, we need to wear mask as a start.
Dr. Ajuluchukwu Elvis Onyishi, PharmD
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