No fewer than 34 frontline pharmacists across the federation have tested positive for the deadly respiratory infection, Pharmanewsonline reports.
This is a sharp increase from the ten pharmacists that tested positive for the virus almost two months ago as revealed by Pharmanewsonline investigations.
The latest data of 34 infected pharmacists was obtained from eight states and the Federal Capital Territory, among whom 16 have recovered and discharged and one dead.
National Chairman, Association of Hospital and Administrative Pharmacists of Nigeria, AHAPN, Dr Kinglesy Amibor told our correspondent in an exclusive interview how this situation update reveals so much about the huge lack of personal protective equipment, PPE for pharmacists and other healthcare workers.
In a similar development, a Chief Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Dr Abubakar Danladi, recently claimed that over 10,000 health workers across Africa have tested positive for COVID-19 pandemic.
Danladi according to reports asserted that 200 Nigerian health workers and 10 doctors have so far died of the disease.
He said: “This is because over 10,000 health workers tested positive for COVID-19 across Africa. About 812 tested positive in Nigeria, out of which 200 Nigerian health workers and 10 Nigerian doctors have so far been killed by the disease”.
In a state by state update, Amibor highlighted the number of affected pharmacists and pharmacist technicians that have contracted the infection as at 24 July,2020.
According to him: “AHAPN conducted some searches and arrived at 34 pharmacists infected as at 24 July, 2020.
“Ondo has 10 pharmacists and 5 technicians infected, Edo 7, Lagos 5, Bayelsa 2, Akwa Ibom 1, FCT 1, Delta 1, Ebonyi 1 and Rivers 1.
“This obviously speaks volumes about use of PPE in our hospitals and they could even be more”, Amibor said.
He attributed the increase in number of infected frontline pharmacists to include: inadequate PPE, restricted hospital pharmacy structures, refusal to adhere by preventive protocols among other things.
The number one hospital pharmacist in Nigeria emphasised the need to restructure pharmacy departments to generate enough space for social distancing in future, as he stated that the present structure of pharmacy departments in hospitals are not spacious enough for physical distancing, which is not good for pharmacists.
Amibor however berated some pharmacists for deliberately neglecting preventive protocols as provided by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC and World Health Organisation, WHO, as he stressed the reality of the pandemic.
‘’Some pharmacists are not making enough interventions to stay alive, by refusing to abide by NCDC/WHO laid down prevention guidelines.
” Continuous advocacy by PSN, AHAPN and other Pharmacy stakeholders is inevitable to sink home the need for compliance with prevention measures”, he maintained.