As the situation with COVID-19 continues to evolve globally, the ANAP Foundation COVID-19 Think Tank* has outlined mitigation measures which it believes may be needed urgently from the outside world and from all those who wish to help Nigeria at this time. Analysts have opined that the success of COVID-19 mitigation measures across sub-Saharan Africa will shape economic, political, and security outlook.
The ANAP Foundation COVID 19 mitigation measures are listed below:
- Access to test kits is critical: The countries that have performed best in containing the pandemic, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, and Vietnam tested extensively and were then able to implement efficient containment processes.
2. Molecular laboratories + skilled personnel: Testing capacity must be ramped up dramatically. The PCR molecular swab test is the only currently WHO-approved diagnostic test for COVID-19. It is highly reliable when positive. Several novel testing modalities are in development and pending approval by global and national public health authorities. We need access to kits for purchase and by donation.
3. Surgical face masks and cloth face coverings: We need both surgical face masks and cloth face coverings. Surgical masks should be reserved for frontline healthcare personnel. Our textile industry, from small street tailors to factories, should begin to make cloth face coverings for the citizenry.
4. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for medical personnel Workforce redeployment: Gowns (which can be made by our textile factories), gloves, masks, goggles, face screens, head and foot protection, and walkie-talkies for two-way communication for those in full PPE in ICU.
Consider deploying final year medical and nursing students, retirees, and unemployed health professionals of all grades. Accept assistance from all countries that have had success in controlling the spread of COVID-19, particularly in the area of training of local manpower. WHO insight on projecting disease trajectory, and forecasting impact timing will assist in resource capacity planning (human, material, equipment, and drugs), to receive assistance from countries that are in recovery phases of the crisis.
5. Respirators / Ventilators: There must be a planned correlation between the supply of ventilators and the availability of trained manpower to use this equipment.
6. Hydroxychloroquine & Azithromycin + Other drugs: Some anecdotal reports suggest a benefit of Hydroxychloroquine with or without azithromycin in the treatment of COVID-19. Clinical trials are underway to determine the role if any of these drugs in the treatment of the infection. Understanding that these drugs are not approved for COVID-19, our pharmaceutical industry should monitor this situation and be prepared to increase the production of these drugs should clinical evidence suggest they are of value.
7. Safety Net: hand outs to 40m Unemployed & Underemployed: Dietary and monetary donations are needed. This should be synchronized with efforts from the government, private sector, non-governmental organizations (NGO’s), religious organizations, and grassroots political structures of the local governments to ensure the most effective coverage. Consider engaging traditional rulers when appropriate, who through their networks of village heads can identify impacted families and effectively organize distribution.
Direct purchase of food from farms and farmers will have a dual effect of providing lower-priced food thereby boosting supply for the needy, while also providing needed support for farmers. Accountability in all this spending is critical. There should be a protocol for cash donations, receipt and disbursement, and accounting and reconciliation. This should preferably be through streamlined recipients, for example in the U.K. the Disaster Emergency Committee.
*The Anap Foundation COVID-19 Think Tank is comprised of 18 members drawn from all the 6 geopolitical zones of Nigeria and the diaspora (USA & Germany). The objectivesof the Think Tank are to:
⦁ Act as a catalyst to enhance authorities’ response to COVID-19 and mobilize stakeholders around a coherent and effective action plan.
⦁ Be a trusted & credible voice assisting with disseminating COVID-19 related information required to successfully manage the pandemic. We will do this by contributing accurate and relevant information required to beat the pandemic.
⦁ Encourage positive interventions by federal, state and local governments; NGOs; private sector; traditional and religious institutions; and other stakeholders to support Nigeria’s capacity to manage COVID-19.
⦁ Advocate for the adoption of all health measures and behaviours necessary to ensure that Nigeria keeps the infection rate down and that decisions are inclusive and cover the diversity of incomes, beliefs, gender, ability, access, age and communication needs of Nigerians.
Members of the Think Tank are:
⦁ Atedo Peterside CON (Chairman): He is the Founder of Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc and the Chairman of the Anap Foundation COVID-19 Think Tank which was established on 22 March, 2020.
⦁ Abubakar Siddique Mohammed (Vice-Chairman): He is a Director of the Centre for Democratic Development Research and Training (CEDDERT), Hanwa Zaria where he is also a Research Fellow researching on Rural Banditry in North West Nigeria. A former Head of Department of the Department of Political Science at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, where he currently works on Impressions and Facts about Nigerian History, Politics and Society.
⦁ Konyin Ajayi SAN:He is the Managing partner at Olaniwun Ajayi LP
⦁ Yele Aluko (Dr):EY Americas Advisory Health Sector Chief Medical Officer and a proven MD/MBA Physician executive.
⦁ Innocent Chukwuma:He is the Regional Director of Ford Foundation in West Africa.
⦁ Adwoa Edun:She has an MA in Health Services Planning, is a Landscape Gardener, Mother and Grandmother.
⦁ Leo Stan Ekeh:He is the Chairman of Zinox Technology Group which includes Konga.com
⦁ George Etomi:a Lawyer based in Lagos.
⦁ Buti Sam Kputu(Reverend):A Teacher, Pastor and Social Entrepreneur. International Director, CAPRO – a global mission of Charity for human and community Transformation.
⦁ Matthew Hassan Kukah (Bishop):He is the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto.
⦁ Dudu Manuga:She is an Executive Director of Responsible Citizenship and Human Development Initiative (ReCHDI), an NGO based in Gombe. Convener of Gombe Civil Society Situation Room.
⦁ LucySurhyelNewman:Her specialty is in Performance Improvement & Governance Advisory
⦁ Ndidi Nnolie-Edozien PhD: She is the Founder/Chair, Growing Businesses Foundation (GBF), since 1999 and hold a PhD in Sustainability & Governance, 2006.
⦁ Ayisha Osori:She is a Member of Nigeria’s civil society.
⦁ Yinka Sanni:He is the Chief Executive of Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC.
⦁ LambertShumbusho: He is an Oil & Gas Executive based in Lagos.
⦁ SalamatuHussaini Suleiman:She is a Private legal practitioner, former two-time Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and former Commissioner Political Affairs, Peace and Security at ECOWAS. Currently serving on the boards of some publicly quoted companies and organizations.
⦁ Ibrahim D. Waziri: A retired Public Servant, Banker, and Consultant.
For more information on the Anap Foundation COVID-19 Think Tank, please visit www.anapfoundation.com
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