By Chioma Obinna
The President of the Commonwealth Medical Association (CMA), Dr. Osahon Enabulele, has urged Governments of various countries in the Commonwealth of Nations to urgently deploy more resources and provide adequate Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) incentives for physicians and other health workers, to aid the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
The CMA President in a world-wide broadcast to all physicians, health workers and citizens of the Commonwealth titled ‘A Message of Hope and A Call To Action’, highlighted the astronomical increase in the number of Commonwealth countries affected by COVID-19 with the unfortunate loss of physicians, health workers and citizens of the Commonwealth, as well as great disruptions of global interconnectedness, human industry, global health, security, socio-economic well-being, and global prosperity.
In his words, ‘Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has challenged our way of life, our health, our well-being, and our prosperity’.
Wondering how physicians and other health workers were coping in the face of resource challenges, including inadequate Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) and incentives for health workers, Enabulele expressed the CMA’s profound gratitude to physicians and other health workers, working in teams and partnerships during the CMA’s site visitations to some hot spots, village clinics, district and tertiary hospitals.
He commended health workers for their sustained commitment to duty and provision of quality care, despite these resources challenges and lack of adequate incentives.
He called on Governments in the Commonwealth to urgently improve on their political will and commitments and to deploy adequate and appropriate resources, including Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) and incentives for Physicians and other health workers in the fight against COVID-19.
While also appreciating the efforts of National Medical Associations, NMA, the World Health Organization, WHO, the Commonwealth Secretariat and the Commonwealth Secretary-General (Rt. Hon. Patricia Scotland QC), and the governments of the various countries, in strongly confronting this crippling global health challenge, he called on MAs in the Commonwealth to continue to adopt proactive, progressive, dynamic and pragmatic strategic approaches.
‘Everybody is called upon to see this as a patriotic duty; with the heightening of positive orientation, level of awareness and participation in the efforts to defeat the virus. The CMA is convinced that this global commitment must remain a ‘one for all and all for one’ fight against COVID-19’.
Enabulele expressed great optimism that the world will overcome the COVID-19 pandemic.
He hinged his optimism on previous global triumphs against some diseases that had ravaged several countries in the world, such as SARS, Swine Flu, Bird flu, and Ebola, as well as the progress so far made, particularly in Asia and some other countries, including those in the African region. He, therefore, called on physicians, health workers and citizens of the Commonwealth to have great hope, optimism and courage, in confronting the COVID-19 pandemic.
‘The daunting challenges notwithstanding, the progress so far made, particularly in China, demonstrates that COVID-19 can be defeated if there is sustained strong political will and commitment, backed with strong health institutional frameworks, adequate protection and incentivisation of health workers, citizen participation, and strict adherence to defined promotive, preventive and clinical care protocols’.
Asserting that COVID-19 is not a death sentence, Enabulele advised those who may have been exposed or who may be ill with symptoms similar to those of COVID-19 to urgently call their licensed physician or a healthcare provider or the numbers provided by the relevant health authorities.