The Chairman of the Kwara State branch of Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Dr Kolade Solagberu has described a report credited to him that he raised alarm over the shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) at hospitals in the state as flagrant misrepresentation and unprofessional.
Dr Solagberu who admitted to have granted Journalists an interview on the ongoing Covid 19 pandemic, said the report was a clear departure from what he said during the interview.
According to a statement signed the Medical Boss himself and made available to Newsmen in Ilorin, “he was wrongly quoted out of context in the report and there was no time during the interview that he said Kwara hospitals were short of PPEs.
“It is sad to note that the opinions I expressed during the interview was unprofessionally punctuated thus misrepresenting my views and my role as a key stakeholder in the Kwara COVID-19 war that we are jointly undertaking under the able leadership of His Excellency, the Deputy Governor of Kwara State and the Chairman, Kwara COVID-19 Technical Committee”, he said.
Solagberu said his involvement in the war against COVID-19 as an active member of the Medical Advisory Sub-committee of the Kwara COVID-19 Technical Committee, has afforded him ample opportunity to be in a good position to know the intervention being undertaken by the Kwara State Government (KWSG) and his colleagues at different strata of the COVID-19 war.
“In the said interview, I had commended the efforts of KWSG under the stewardship of His Excellency, the Executive Governor, Mallam AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq and the tremendous work being undertaken by the Chairman of the Kwara COVID-19 Technical Committee, His Excellency, Mr Kayode Alabi in terms of preparedness as a preventive strategy and implementation of the committee work at the verge of the discovery of the index case”.
He explained that in a show of support for the State’s COVID-19 war, he led the Kwara State NMA team, just a day to the interview, on Friday 17th April 2020 to pay a courtesy call on His Excellency, the Deputy Governor during which they donated 200 units of digital Thermometers.
He added that he presented a written speech which was made available to the pressmen, where NMA commended the State Governor, and in particular the efforts of the Chairman Kwara COVID-19 Technical Committee on the preventive measures being taken by the state government to stem the tide of coronavirus in the state.
“However, on Saturday 18th April, 2020, apart from the encomium I showered on the KWSG, while I was granting the interview, I was not aware that a new consignment of Medical commodities containing Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) and other consummables had been received and were already being distributed to public hospitals and health facilities in the State. This was a far cry from my purported outburst as reported on the issue of PPEs.
“The interview was conducted while I was attending the COVID-19 sensitization training, as a guest, for journalists in the State organized by the Infection Prevention and Control/Risk Communication sub-team of the Medical Advisory Subcommittee. The large pool of attendees at the gathering, I am sure will also be amazed that the opinions published did not conform with my carriage, intent and role in the COVID-19 war” he added.
Solagberu added that the PPEs (Hamzat suits), goggles, facemasks(surgical and N95 respirators) face shields, protective boots, surgical gloves, disposable gowns, hand wash lotion, hand sanitizers to mention a few have been distributed to all the public health institutions in the State including the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, a Federal tertiary institution, where his members had lamented shortages of PPEs.
“It is still surprising to me how my opinions were suppressed and thus my belief and role in the Kwara COVID-19 exercise being misrepresented. I have applauded the current administration for paying good attention to the health sector. I knew how deplorable the health sector was, and the tremendous improvement that is being witnessed in the sector of the State under the new administration. I know several of our members who have been appointed into one administrative position or the other, I am also aware of the remarkable turn around of the hitherto moribound Oxygen plant of the State, purchase of Ventilators and dedicated ambulances, renovation of the designated quarantine centre etc. I am also part of the team that advised the KWSG on the structure and design of the COVID-19 Isolation Centre at Sobi to mention a few”.
Dr Solagberu said he was fully aware of the state government’s impactful investments in the health sector, pointing out that it is also commendable that the leadership is approachable, and desirous for options that could make the Government win the COVID-19 war in the State, and record many more landmark progress for the State.
He pledged that the Kwara State branch of the NMA would continue to identify with the successes, and progressive direction in which the State is being piloted.