By Fatima Mohammed-Lawal
Ilorin, July 15, 2020 Dr Lanre Olosunde, the President of Association of Resident Doctors, University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH) Chapter, says 12 doctors who tested positive for COVID-19 have recovered.
Speaking with newsmen in Ilorin on Wednesday, Olosunde explained that the 12 ARD members were infected in the line of duty.
He said most of the doctors had moderate symptoms, adding that the association had already taken proactive measures against the disease.
“We actually sensitised our members and that went a long way to help our members to prepare for the scourge.
“We had course to write to the DG of Nigeria Centre for Disease and Control (NCDC), the Federal Government via our national body to help us and we got donations of Personal Protective Equipment from them.
“We also approached private companies in Kwara for help to which they responded well too.
“Presently, I will say we had a fairly moderate supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), though not sufficient. But as at now our members have enough of PPE,” he said.
He added that the Federal Government had paid the long debated hazard allowances to his members, but urged the government to implement the Residency Training Act for the doctors.
“The issue of hazard allowance is a chronic problem; it has been on the table for long.
“You can imagine as a doctor with lots of risk we are facing, the hazard allowance has been N5, 000 per month.
“There are even other staff that are not exposed to COVID-19 that are getting more allowances than the doctors.
“The Federal Government has agreed to pay us what they called special COVID allowance. The Federal Government has paid 50 per cent of our basic salary.
“While we appreciate the government for doing this, we want to ask them to do more by prioritising the health care system this time,” he said.
Olosunde, however, said the search for a COVID-19 vaccine was imminent as over 100 vaccine trials were ongoing across the world.
The ARD president said he was optimistic that Nigeria would survive the pandemic, adding there was a time small pox was killing people and the country survived it.
“There was a time we had HIV, we had Ebola too, and we survived it. But how did we survive it?
” We survived it through ingenuity; we survived it through innovation and through advancement in technology.
“Currently, we have over 100 vaccine trials that are going on and I know that we won’t be unlucky not to have one that will work.
“I know in the nearest future we are going to get the vaccine.
” But having the vaccine may not be the solution completely given the rate of spread of the virus globally.
“I think what is more important is to appeal to the citizens of our country to strictly abide by the rules laid down to curtail the spread of COVID-19,” he said.