The Chairman, House Committee on Health, Honourable Tanko Sununu, has advised the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 to employ the same strategies used in fighting polio in the country, to also fight the Coronavirus.
Speaking about the government’s reaction to the second wave of the virus on Channels TV’s Politics Today, Sununu noted that while certain steps need to be taken, he would not advise for a second lockdown.
According to him, rather than putting an absolute lockdown that will affect the economy and then came with an aftermath just like it was in the first lockdown, the government should try to see how they can engage stakeholders just like it did when Nigeria was battling with the poliovirus.
“If you look at it, Nigerians are always in denial, when government and heads of organisations said there was polio, people tried to say no and it became a serious issue.
“What did government do? It resorted to creating communities headed by traditional rulers, religious organisations, preaching and preaching to people until they realised and accepted it as a reality that it is not something we are trying to do something to their health.
“Now, today we are proud to say we have eradicated polio in the country and that former set up is still there.
“I think the PTF should just reactivate the avenue that was used by the National Primary Health Care Development Agency to achieve the eradication of polio, to strengthen the fight against COVID-19,” he said.
Sununu also highlighted some of the progress made by the government in its fight against COVID-19.
According to him, the country only started with four laboratories but now there are “over 100 laboratories distributed nation-wide that can effectively diagnose COVID-19”.
“Not only that, when we came, we had very few isolation centres and ICU’s in the country. As of today, government and non-governmental organisations came together and we can now say we have multiple isolation centres that are functional”.