. The HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis patients’ angusih, neglect worsen during COVID-19 outbreak, Second Wave
This appears the worst time to suffer from underlining diseases like Tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS in Africa as more patients who battle these ailments are being abandoned for death.
The over 10 million patients battling different degrees of HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis are suffering from growing anguish of neglect buoyed by COVID-19, Platforms Africa gathered exclusively.
The outbreak and second wave of COVID-19 have shown that the Africa’s health system could not simultaneously withstand fallouts from two or more dreaded infections, and a mnister of health from Nigeria has confirmed that the HIV and TB patients are already abandoned in the country.
Sub-Saharan Africa remains the region most heavily affected by HIV. In 2010, about 68% of all people living with HIV resided in sub-Saharan Africa, a region with only 12% of the global population, data from the World Health Organisation (WHO) obtained by Platforms Africa showed.
South Africa’s HIV epidemic remains the largest in the world and with an estimated 5.6 million people living with HIV while Nigeria continues to have the second largest number of people living with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa.
Both countries are listed among the 22 high TB burden countries, and in all, Africa accounts for more than 10 million parients living with the two conditions.
“All of these patents no longer receive the needed care or support for drugs again. They may have been abandoned to ‘die if they like’ because of COVID-19 – the only ailment after the heart of the Wolrd nay leaders of Africa,” a senior medical doctor, Taiwo Mohammed, told Platforms Africa.
The Nigeria’ Minister of state for health, Senator Olorunnimbe Mamora, who confirmed this, revealed that the care and attention given to HIV, tuberculosis and other ailments have been neglected due to the impact of COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking at the national briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, the minister, while explaining the impact of COVID-19, said though some benefits may have come from the pandemic, the negative impact is that the attention given to these dangerous diseases have reduced as everyone now focuses on getting solutions to COVID-19.
Speaking further, the minister urged all health practitioners to forward cases of COVID-19 symptoms to approved lab centres in order to avoid unnecessary deaths.
According to him, “the report that many of those who died, reported late for treatment at the approved centres because they were referred late from private facilities is alarming.
“We therefore once again seize this opportunity to urge health care practitioners to promptly send all suspected cases for testing and when positive, refer them to isolation centres for treatment.
Attempting to treat suspected or confirmed cases not only exposes the health workers in such a facility to risk of infection but also denies the patient early access to effective treatment in an approved treatment centre.”
He further noted that “the plan of the federal government regarding activation of oxygen availability in the states is on course with a view to effecting immediate repairs of non-functional oxygen plants.
He also noted that “the result from the tests conducted on prospective NYSC members has incontrovertibly confirmed that no part of the country is free of COVID-19 disease.
We safely and comfortably draw this conclusion because corps members are mobilized from all the states of the country for each of the orientation camps