By Victor Bieni
ABUJA- The National Coordinator/CEO, Afrihealth Optonet Association (CSOs Network), a Medical expert, and United Nations endorsed Community Health Activist, Dr. Uzodinma Adirieje, has faulted the Nigerian Centre For Disease Control (NCDC), Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) as he said he observed with concern and trepidation, the flagrant non-adherence to all the WHO’s and known COVID-19 prevention protocols during the funeral event organized for Mallam Abba Kyari, the Late Chief Of Staff to President Gudu Cemetery which took place recently in Abuja, FCT, Nigeria.
Afrihealth Boss, the World Distinguished Community Health Worker, Nutrition and Food Security Consultant made this Statement today in a press statement made available to some group of Journalists in Abuja, FCT, Nigerial today being Monday, April 20th, 2020 emphasized that Nigerians are aware that the Chief of Staff to Nigeria’s President, Late Elder Statesman, Mallam Abba Kyari died from Covid-19 and expressed dissatisfaction over the way the funeral events was conducted.
The World Distinguished Activist stated that NCDC officials and Fedveral Government breached the Covid-19 pandemic preventive guidelines, that the funeral was done without maximum compliance to the guidelines of World Health Organization (WHO), States Ministry of Health, Medical Practitioners, and Health Workers recommendations and Chief of Staff at the CoS funeral in Abuja on Friday, April 18th, 2020.
Dr. Uzodinma stated that Afrihealth Optonet Association is a Community -focused Civil Society Network and think-tank in Consultative status with United Nations ECOSOC-for Community systems strengthening (HSS) and Primary Health Care(PHC), with functional State Chapters in the six geo-political zones of Nigeria, and other African countries such as Kenya, Ghana as well as Countries in the global South, with over 600 Community – based, Non-governmental, Civil Society Groups in all the geopolitical zones of Nigeria.
He added that the Civil Society Organization is full mandated and involved in the promotion of sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR), Good Governance, HIV/AIDS/TB, Malaria and other infectious diseases; Maternal and Neonatal Child Health (MNCH), Vaccines, Nutrition and Food Security, Vitamins and Immunization.
The press Statements reads, “Nigerians are aware that the late CoS had died from the Coronavirus disease. We had actually expected the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC)and Federal Government to exhibit maximum examples of compliance to all the rules already imposed on Nigerians concerning the COVID-19. Some of the WHO, Health Workers, Federal and State Governments rules and regulations, positions to all Nigerians”.
“Some of the possible preventive measures on the Covid-19 pandemic included amongst others: Not holding a public gathering of more than fifty persons; which a Nigerian court has already found Ms Funke Akindele aka Jenifa guilty”.
“Also strict observance of social distancing; frequent use of hand sanitizers, especially following every contact with another person or object; compulsory use/wearing of face masks, especially when in public among other others; isolation/quarantining of persons exposed to COVID-19 victims and
environments; to mention but a few”.
“Unfortunately, the huge gatherings for Malam Kyari’s funerals at ‘Defense House’, especially Gudu Cemetery were largely conducted in utter disregard to these critical and important precautions”.
“Several hundreds of people were gathered at the funeral in a manner that clearly portends an explosion in COVID-19 cases in the weeks and months ahead; especially when we also become mindful that some of the participants at that event might be asymptomatic for COVID-19 and would be infecting others even at that venue”.
“We are further concerned on the subsequent news that staff and some officials from the Presidency/Aso Rock who attended the event were part of these unhealthy exposures.
We are aware that defaulters were further locked out of Aso Rock to wander away instead of being arrested for contravening existing regulations, and being quarantined for further
observations for at least fourteen days in accordance with the protocols”.
The Civil Society Leader expressed worry over the known nature of COVID-19 whereby some of the NCDC officials might have contacted the disease through the exposure, might be asymptomatic, and therefore needed to be observed, he then felt disappointed with the virtual nonchalant manner the protective dress was disposed in public at the cemetery by an official personnel who was among those who made contact with the late CoS’s corpse during the burial.
According to him, Nigerians demand explanations on government compliance with the laws of the land and their derivate regulations, also call for full-scale investigations and scientific inquiry into these conducts around the burial of the CoS as well as palpable consequences of the breaches which may include a pending explosion of COVID-19 in the FCT and other places.
Afrihealth CEO then called for the immediate and urgent arrest and quarantine of everyone who attended the funeral events in breach of the extant regulations, and for extensive immediate contact tracing for all and sundry cases at Gudu Cemetery.
The renowned African CSOs/NGOs Leader then urged urged that so many impending deaths from the anticipated explosion of COVID- 19 infections, be deliberately and urgently prevented using appropriate protocols, also called on all Nigerians irrespective of status and position to strictly adhere to all
known COVID-19 prevention and management protocols to prevent further infections and deaths from this disease, in Nigeria.
Dr. Uzodinma Adirieje then demanded for daily updates from the NCDC on measures being taken to address the COVID-19 infection implosion expected from the extensive breach of protocols at that burial, then prayed for the soul of the CoS to rest in peace.