Honestly,do you think Africa is ready for Covid-19? with a non-existent healthcare system, it’s blindingly obvious that Africa cannot cope with any viral infectious disease outbreak, and this includes the novel coronavirus disease or COVID-19.
Does this mean Africans in general or Nigerians in particular are just sitting down waiting to be wiped out by the COVID-19 or the next pandemic? No! African nations including Nigeria is part of global health organizations that sponsor and conduct researches into different ways of stopping the spread of viral infections.
Their findings are published on publication sites like Researchgate or their websites, and are accessed to all member nations of the world, whether the nation belongs to the league of those with a working health care system or they are in the league of most African nations whose health care systems are nothing to write home about. The most prominent of these global health organizations is the World Health Organizations, with headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.
The World Health Organization, since its founding, has been fighting to control the spread of infections across the world, and currently is at the forefront of the fight to put under control the outbreak of the novel coronavirus disease.
So, how can Nigeria as a member nation of WHO utilize its finding towards controlling the spread of COVID-19 at home? And how can Nigerians remain safe from contracting the new coronavirus infection? The answer is simply following WHO’s guidelines on preventing the spread of the viral disease.
Below we take a look at the tips for the prevention of the spread of the novel coronavirus disease as published by the World Health Organization.
1. Maintain Social Distancing
The World Health Organization advocate that people should maintain social distancing at this period of rapid spread of the new coronavirus disease. Maintaining social distancing basically means keeping a distance of at least 1 metre between yourself and the next nearest person who is sneezing or coughing. This is to prevent the liquid respiratory droplets that drops from their mouth as they sneeze or cough and which may contain the coronavirus from getting into your own system.
When you are too close to someone who has the coronavirus disease, you can breathe in the infected droplets they spray when they cough or sneeze, thereby getting yourself infected and spreading further the disease.
2. Wash Your Hands Frequently
Regular washing of hands is a basic hygiene that is old as mankind, but it has never been as necessary and has never been this highly emphasized as it is now, a situation caused by the spread of COVID-19.
The World Health Organization advises that regular and thorough washing of hands using soap and water is very necessary to stop the spread of the new coronavirus disease. The organization also advocates rubbing of alcohol-based hand rub or hand sanitizer.
Thorough washing of hands with soap and running water or rubbing of hand sanitizers kills the virus that may be present on your hands before you transfer it to your body system by touching your nose, mouth, eyes or other openings in your body.
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3. Avoid Touching Your Eyes, Nose, and Mouth
Nigerians should avoid touching their eyes, nose, and mouth to keep themselves safe from contracting the new coronavirus infection.
We use our hands to touch many different surfaces everyday, from currency notes, to taxi door, to the shiny steel railing on the local mall’ staircase. These surfaces may be contaminated with virus like the new coronavirus, and when we touch them, our hands also get contaminated.
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Our contaminated hands, if not washed thoroughly, can transfer the virus to our eyes, nose, or mouth. And from there, the virus can easily be breathed into our system and we thus get infected. The World Health Organization strongly advise we desist from touching our nose, eyes, or mouth to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus through this means.
4. Practice Respiratory Hygiene
Another way Nigerians can keep themselves safe from contracting the new coronavirus disease is by practicing good respiratory hygiene. This is also as recommended by the World Health Organization.
How can Nigerians practice this good respiratory hygiene? You should cover your mouth or nose with your elbow bend or tissue paper when you sneeze or cough, and then properly dispose off the used tissue paper as soon as you are done. We’ve already learnt that respiratory droplets spread the new coronavirus. So when you practice good respiratory hygiene as explained above, you protect the people around viral diseases like the COVID-19, in case you are already infected.
5. Seek Medical Care Early If You Show Symptoms
If you start showing symptoms of the new coronavirus disease like fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention or alert the local health authority which in the case of COVID-19 in Nigeria is the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC). The NCDC are best placed to advise you on what next to do to protect people around you and prevent the further spread of the disease.