NIGERIAN DENTAL ASSOCIATION DECRY SHORTAGE OF SAFETY KITS & PALLIATIVES IN THE FIGHT AGAINST CORONA VIRUS

21/04/20

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DANIELS G. O

THE NIGERIAN DENTAL ASSOCIATION HAS APPEALED TO THE FEDERAL AND STATE GOVERNMENTS TO EXTEND THE STIMULUS PACKAGES,GRANTS AND PALLIATIVES TO PRIVATE DENTAL PRACTITIONERS IN NIGERIA WHOSE DENTAL CLINICS AND BUSINESSES HAVE BEEN GROSSLY AFFECTED BY THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC.

IN A PRESS RELEASE BY IT’S PRESIDENT DOCTOR EVELYN ESHIKENA, SHE NOTED THAT THIS INTERVENTION HAS BECOME NECESSARY AS THE NATION CAN NOT AFFORD FURTHER DEPLETION OF THE INADEQUATE DENTAL CARE FACILITIES AVAILABLE TO IT’S TEEMING POPULATION.

DOCTOR ESHIKENA NOTED THAT DENTISTS WHO ARE MORE AT RISK OF THE CORONA VIRUS INFECTIONS DUE TO THE NATURE OF THEIR SERVICES IN DENTAL PROCEDURES THAT EXPOSES THEM TO THE SALIVA ,AEROSOL, DROPLETS AND SPLATTERS WERE NOT ADEQUATELY PROVIDED FOR IN THE BATTLE AGAINST COVID-19 PANDEMIC,ESPECIALLY WITH THE HIGH INCIDENCE OF PATIENTS PRESENTING AT DENTAL FACILITIES WITHOUT SYMPTOMS.

ACCORDING TO DOCTOR EVELYN, SHORTLY AFTER THE CONFIRMATION OF THE INDEX CASE IN NIGERIA ON FEBRUARY 27TH 2020,A PROTOCOL WAS RELEASED BY THE ASSOCIATION FOR DENTAL PRACTITIONERS TO CONTAIN THE TRANSMISSION OF THE VIRUS.

PART OF THE PROTOCOL INCLUDED SCALING DOWN OPERATIONS AND TREATMENT OF ONLY EMERGENCY CASES UNTIL ESSENTIAL EQUIPMENT WERE MADE AVAILABLE.

ONE MONTH AFTER THAT RECOMMENDATION,EIGHTY PERCENT OF PRIVATE DENTAL CLINICS HAVE SHUT DOWN DUE TO INABILITY TO PROCURE SAFETY KITS WITH NEAR TOTAL COLLAPSE OF DENTAL CARE NATION WIDE.

DENTAL PATIENTS ARE NO LONGER ABLE TO ACCESS CARE AND NOW GRAPPLING WITH VARYING DEGREES OF DISCOMFORT WHILE DENTAL CLINICS ARE NOW FACED WITH PRECARIOUS ECONOMIC SITUATION WHICH MAY LEAD TO PERMANENT CLOSURE OR DOWNSIZING OF DENTAL WORK FORCE IF THE PANDEMIC IS NOT CONTAINED SOON.

TO REMEDY THE SITUATION ,THE PRESIDENT OF THE NIGERIAN DENTAL ASSOCIATION IS ASKING FOR THE FOLLOWING

*1) THAT THE PRESIDENTIAL TASK FORCE ON COVID-19 AND STATE GOVERNMENTS,ESPECIALLY LAGOS WHERE FIFTY PERCENT OF THE NATION’S DENTAL FACILITIES ARE LOCATED TO URGENTLY COME TO THE AID OF DENTAL HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS BY PROVIDING PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT TO ALL DENTAL FACILITIES BOTH PUBLIC AND PRIVATE TO SUSTAIN DELIVERY OF EMERGENCY SERVICES

* 2) SUPPLY OF RELEVANT ITEMS LIKE INFRA RED THERMOMETERS,ALCOHOL BASED HAND SANITIZERS, GLOVES,FACE MASK AND OTHER ESSENTIAL EQUIPMENT THAT SHOULD BE CHANNELED THROUGH THE NIGERIAN DENTAL ASSOCIATION AND THE ASSOCIATION OF PRIVATE DENTAL PRACTITIONERS OF NIGERIA (APDPN).

*IMPROVEMENT OF HAZARD_ ALLOWANCE, SUSPENSION OF TAX DEDUCTION AND APPROVAL OF LIFE INSURANCE POLICY FOR ALL CATEGORIES OF HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS WHO IN THE LINE OF DUTY MAY COME ACROSS CONFIRMED CASES OF CORONA VIRUS PATIENTS AND ASYMPTOMATIC PATIENTS.

THE ASSOCIATION ALSO SALUTES THE NIGERIAN GOVERNMENT, OFFICIALS OF THE NIGERIA CENTER FOR DISEASE CONTROL, FEDERAL AND STATE MINISTRIES OF HEALTH WHO ARE WORKING PROFESSIONALLY AND TIRELESSLY TO COMBAT THE SPREAD OF THE VIRUS..

THE NIGERIAN DENTAL ASSOCIATION ALSO COMMISERATE WITH FAMILIES THAT HAVE LOST THEIR LOVED ONES IN THE BATTLE AGAINST COVID-19.

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