By Idowu Abdullahi,
The Federal Government has warned Nigerians to desist from self-medication and unapproved home-based coronavirus treatment guidelines in fear of stigmatization, saying the virus remains treatable and not a death sentence.
It explained that the one hundred and ninety-one deaths recorded from coronavirus complications in 26 states and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, was as a result of self-medication and unapproved home-based treatment protocols adopted by patients who tested positive for the virus.
The Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, said to curb the spread and gain early control against the virus, Nigerians who tested positive for the virus or experiencing symptoms of the virus must present themselves for professional treatment rather than resorting to self-help.
The Minister who spoke during the daily briefing of Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 in Abuja, yesterday, noted that it is of great disservice to the efforts of frontline health workers battling the scourge if Nigerians continue to resort to self-help with the success rate recorded against the virus in Nigeria.
According to him, with 1, 644 patients successfully treated and discharged nationwide, the citizens must support the efforts of the government and frontline workers by reporting themselves and seeking help professionally to mitigate high cases of mortalities from complications of coronavirus.
He said; “It is of great importance that we, members of the health sector and citizens, endeavor to use this period to dedicate their effort to strive for the best, but also prepare for the worst. As we learn more about coronavirus every day, we must be ready to adjust our strategy, based on knowledge and evidence.
“1, 644 patients have been treated and discharged from care, but we have sadly recorded 191 deaths in 26 states and the FCT. Even though this figure seems low compared to other countries, a disturbing picture emerging from statistics is that not only are most fatalities observed to be linked with preexisting diseases, many are educated, well-to-do people, who chose home-based care, where they developed sudden complication and have to be rushed to the hospital.
“Experience is showing that breathing complications in COVID-19 patients can arise with little or no notice. This is an added reason why all persons should seek medical attention when they test positive,” he said.
On his part, the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force, Boss Mustapha, urged Nigerians who tested positive or having symptoms of the deadly respiratory disease to seek help rather than going underground for self-medication and unapproved treatment protocols.
“For those who are struggling with the disease, help is available. Do not go underground. It is important to talk about it and to seek help. Every effort spares humanity the agony of the spread of the virus”, he stated.
Recall that the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control had earlier warned Nigerians to desist from self-medication and unapproved treatment guidelines in hope of treating themselves of the deadly coronavirus pandemic ravaging the world.
It explained that the call had become imperative following several reports that Nigerians are resorting to abuse of similar drugs used in treating some coronavirus patients.
The agency, through a post on its social media page recently, clarified that drug prescription on treatment for coronavirus is peculiar to patients’ health history and not a one-size fit for all.
It warned that abuse of all manners of drugs in the hope of treating coronavirus through the self-medication method poses much danger without proper prescription as advised by health experts on the frontline against coronavirus.
“Remember, the medicines given by authorized medical personnel to patients with diseases including coronavirus, are dependent on individual conditions Please DO NOT engage in self-medication based on another person’s prescription as you can harm yourself,”