Royal Ibe, Orjime Moses and Maryam Rabiu, Abuja
The Society of Family Physicians of Nigeria (SOFPON) has appealed to Nigerians to adhere to proven guidelines on COVID-19 as the pandemic transition is still ongoing.
The president, SOFPON, Professor Musa Dankyau, in an interview with our correspondent at the 25th annual general and scientific conference on Wednesday in Abuja, said it is not yet time for Nigerians to put down their guards.
Speaking on the theme of the conference: ‘The Family Physician and the Challenges of Transiting the COVID-19 Pandemic,’ he said that at the early stage of the pandemic, the prevalence was high and as such many Nigerians were affected. While it takes two weeks for the symptoms of the pandemic to elapse for some, for others, it is still affecting their health, Dankyau stated.
He said, “Now, we are having fewer people affected, but with long COVID (a term to describe the effects of COVID-19 that continue for weeks or months beyond the initial illness), the symptoms still longer for some Nigerians, causing great havoc on their health. Though, most people with long COVID don’t have the typical classic symptoms, but they have all sorts of other symptoms that affect the quality of their lives,” he added.
As family physicians, being the first and last persons a patient sees, Dankyau said, “We tend to see the first cases as they come and when others have done their work, we are still there with the patient who may likely have a long-term complain. We are not giving up on them. We will be with them until our patients are okay medically, because we are trained to provide comprehensive, continuing care and coordinated care to individuals and families within the context of their communities in Nigeria.’’
The chairman, local organising committee of the conference, Timothy Nwokeoma Abuba, also urged Nigerians not to put down their guards yet as the pandemic is still transiting.
Earlier, the minister of health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, said that the ministry of health will continue to rely on the physicians on the necessary things to put in place to support the nation’s health system. The minister was represented by the head, Inspectorate Division, Federal Ministry of Health, Dr Kamil Shoretire.