April 30, 2020

COVID-19: UI health experts Task Makinde, Sanwo-Olu to deploy task force to urban slums

COVID-19: UI health experts Task Makinde, Sanwo-Olu to deploy task force to urban slums

By Adeola Badru

The University of Ibadan Urban Health Research Team has advised Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, and his Oyo State Counterpart, Engineer Seyi Makinde, to deploy COVID-19 task force teams to urban slums in their states in order to prevent community transmission of coronavirus.

The Head of the Team, Professor Akinyinka Omigbodun, stated this in a press release issued in Ibadan and made available to newsmen.

The UI Urban Health Research Team, which is funded by the National Institute for Research (NIHR) in the UK, carried out stakeholder engagements in Bariga, Idi-Ikan, and Sasha slum communities in Lagos and Oyo States.

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According to the health experts, the slum communities in question displayed poor adherence to advisories on prevention issued by the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) due to the peculiar nature of their communities.

The team also asked the two states to consider creating access points for COVID-19 testing in the slum communities.

According to Professor Omigbodun, non-adherence to preventive measures and lack of protective kits such as sanitizers and facemasks could negatively affect efforts at curtailing the spread of the virus.

He called on the Governors to engage in massive sensitisation in these and other slum communities, as well as distributing free face masks and hand sanitizers free of charge in slum communities.

The don maintained that the distribution of palliatives must reach urban slum dwellers who have become very vulnerable owing to the lull in economic activities.

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The research team also asked that primary health care professionals be equipped with personal protection kits to prevent them from being exposed to infection before patients are transferred to test and isolation centers

“The access and utilisation of health facilities in urban slums are not encouraging. With COVID-19, the governments of the two states need to do more about community sensitisation, the supply of palliatives, and the provision of testing facilities in slum communities.

We also found that health care professionals are not supplied with sufficient numbers of personnel protective equipment. This is not good enough, considering the crucial role they play in health service delivery at the community level.”