By Danmaryam Zayamu
The Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, has disclosed that the Covid-19 lockdown caused enormous negative consequences and setback on the routine healthcare delivery in the country.
Quoting the latest statistics from the National Health Management Information System (NHMIS), the Minister revealed at a media briefing in Abuja today that Out-Patient visits to health facilities across the country dropped drastically from 4 million to 2 million.
According to the him, antenatal visits equally dropped from 1.3 million to 655,000, Skilled Birth Attendance dropped from 158,374 to less than 99,000.
On the other hand, he said, immunization services also dropped to about half.
He regretted that “all these have as yet undetermined consequences”, expressing optimism that the recent easing of the lock down in the affected states by the federal government will “hopefully address” the ugly trend.
The minister however, disclosed that the Federal Government had concluded plans to dispatch another set of delegation to Kogi and Cross Rivers in order to assess the Covid-19 situation in the two states.
It would be recalled that Kogi and Cross River are the only states with no confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the country.
Few days ago, the Federal Ministry of Health dispatched a delegation to Kogi to ascertain their level preparedness to contain the spread of the Covid-19 when cases are reported. The delegation was forced to return following the insistence of the governor, Yahaya Bello, that the delegation must undergo mandatory isolation for 14 days.
At a media briefing in Abuja, on Thursday, the Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, said: “The visit to Cross River State will be scheduled as soon as transport is arranged and also to Kogi State as soon as details are worked out.”
Ehanire further disclosed that the federal government has deployed Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and other supplies to states and federal health institutions including continued supplies to laboratories in different parts of the country.
“These measures and others are to address the needs reported to us by the Federal Ministry of Health team, presently deployed in Kano, which has paid exploratory visits to Jigawa, Bauchi and Katsina and is preparing to pay to Sokoto and Borno very soon”, he stated.