Makinde, Sanwo-Olu urged to deploy COVID-19 task force to slums

The University of Ibadan Urban Health Research Team has advised Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State and his Lagos State counterpart, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, to deploy the COVID-19 task force teams in their states to urban slums in order to prevent community transmission of coronavirus.

The Head of the Team, Prof. Akinyinka Omigbodun, stated this in a statement issued in Ibadan on Wednesday.

The team of researchers, sponsored by the National Institute for Research, United Kingdom, conducted stakeholders’ engagements in Bariga, Idi-Ikan and Sasha slum communities in Lagos and Oyo states.

According to them, the communities under review displayed poor adherence to advisories on preventive measures issued by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control due to the peculiar nature of their communities.

According to the experts, the two states should consider creation of access points for COVID-19 testing in the slum communities.

Omigbodun said non-adherence to preventive measures and lack of protective kits such as sanitisers and face masks could negatively affect efforts at curtailing the spread of the virus.

He, therefore, urged the governors to engage in massive sensitisation of the people in the slum communities, as well as distributing free face masks and hand sanitisers to them.

He said, “The distribution of palliatives must reach urban slum dwellers who have become very vulnerable owing to the lull in economic activities.

“Primary health care professionals should be equipped with personal protective kits in order to prevent them from being exposed to infection before patients are transferred to the test and isolation centres.

“The access and utilisation of health facilities in urban slums is not encouraging. With COVID-19, the governments of the two states need to do more on community sensitisation, supply of palliatives and provision of testing facilities in slum communities.
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