#COVID19 pandemic: the Failure of the IHR on the alter of the power politics of Nations.

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The ongoing #COVID19 pandemic has once again exposed the deficiencies in the #IHR (International Health Regulation, 2005) or the incapability or failure of the World Health Organization (@WHO) to enforce IHR powers or both.

Like the West African #Ebola outbreak, the WHO failed to influence and mobilize the Chinese and global governments to provide a timely and effective response to #SARS_CoV2 while it was still in #Wuhan, in such a way as to prevent, protect-against and control the international spread of #COVID19 with minimal interference with international trade and traffic. That is the primary objective of the IHR, as revised in 2005. Once again, this piece of international law binding on all signatory member states has failed the world again.

There is little evidence that the WHO followed through with its “#no_regret_policy” approach to outbreak response from day one, and if she did, it wasn’t effective. The economic and political interest of the state actors seems to have influenced action at the relevant WHO offices. If they did attempt to act, does the WHO have the enabling structures and resources to effectively bypass the sovereign resistance of the weakest member state in order to stop a potential public health emergency of international concern (#PHEIC) at source?

Imagine if 0.5% of the human and material resources being lost to the pandemic now were mobilised and sent to Wuhan at the onset of the outbreak.

Alas, it might be the right moment to review IHR. After Ebola, the WHE (the WHO’s Health Emergencies’ Programme) was set up to bypass the restrictions inherent in the traditional WHO processes. With COVID19, it is clear that the WHE lacks the timeliness and adequacy of response required to stop any local epidemic from becoming a pandemic.

Inarguably, health is a security matter, it seems we need to go beyond the WHO and begin to demand the #UNSC (United Nations Security Council) to make a resolution that empowers the WHO to act anywhere in the globe to implement IHR, just like the UN does in war scenarios. A disease that can spread and kill like COVID19 is worse than the criminal mafia gangs that the permanent members of the UNSC are always quick to initiate and implement resolutions against. But, will the permanent members support such resolution?

Nevertheless, it is high time we placed the health of the people where it truly belongs, at the top of all human development priorities, and at the centre of global security structures, architecture, plans and resources. Let us kill the politicization of the health of the people. The WHO was set up with an independent constitution and membership to achieve that but, it has failed thus far to operate outside the influence of power politics of states and non-state actors in the international system.

More than ever, it is time to go back to the drawing board to review, revamp, restructure and re-empower, if the fundamental goal of the WHO and IHR will ever be realized. #EnoughSaid.



FURTHER USEFUL READINGs:

“..Countries Can’t Be Allowed to Cover Up Epidemics Any More –

https://foreignpolicy.com/2020/03/10/the-multilateral-health-system-failed-to-stop-the-coronavirus/ ..”

The Audacity to Fail

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Success happen because men had the audacity to fail. No one ever achieved anything remarkable in any generation and in any sphere of life until they dared to fail. Hence, it is incontrovertibly true that scintillating success happen only in the face of failure.

In every hall of fame anywhere in the world, you will only find the names of men and women who dared to stand up to failure. They saw failure and rose up to it, willing and ready to rather die failing than to be accept mediocrity and end inconsequentially.

Indeed, success in life is born on the altar of failure. There is no worthy cause or path in life that is void of a substantial chance of failure. You will do nothing significant if you are scared of failing.

Dear friend, stop seeking advise about fail-proof ways or paths or regimen for your life. You will be lied to. Your life is in the future, and no human alive has ever been to your future. Hence, no human alive has the competence to dictate the best path for you in life.

Of course, it is basic wisdom to use some adaptable guidance from people who have trodden your chosen path in life but, never expect to surpass records and write your name on the sands of time with only such guidance.

Many a times, the rules that worked perfectly for some people yesterday may fail you today, if applied without making improved adaptations. Life is dynamic, experience might be very useless amidst rapidly changing milieu of how life works.

There are no correct or right way of doing life. Be careful not to be entangled by anther man’s style of processing his own life course. The mesmerising path #Obama took to become the first black American president at 47years might not work for you. Neither would #Trump’s historic approach to become the first billionaire and oldest American president at 70years. Irrespective, both are highly impactful and successful humans in many respects.

Invariably, general principles may be similar but, no detailed SOP exist for micro actions and inactions that guarantee exactly the same outcome in the theatre of life. You are entitled to your #discretion, usually called your right of choice in full respect of your dignity, proclaimed by divine treaties(#HolyBooks), and protected by existing international and national legal frameworks in every known sovereign jurisdiction on earth.

In other words, it is only you, and you alone, with the ever available power of your instincts and courage endowed in your “#DivineBeing” that can reach into your essence to define a worthy cause and path for yourself in life. Therein lies your discretionary power to choose what your life should and must be about.

Should you stay focus on such chosen path and refuse to let the fear of failure intimidate you, it is written that you shall inevitably succeed, at least in pursuing your chosen cause in life, except He that He holds the worlds in His hands is dead.

Alas, evidence abound that He that created the heavens before the earth so that no one would think he stood on the earth to mould the heavens is still alive. You were NOT mass produced in a factory. You were inarguably created by the Almighty God for a purpose, and your God is not dead, and his everlasting arm is right beneath you to aid your quest to fulfil His divine mandate for your life. His command to man hasn’t changed. You must be fruitful, productive & creative. You cannot fail working faithfully on your divinely assigned mandate. It is only you who can tell and define the specific mandate for your life. Dare to choose your own life path and passionately pursue it in spite of all.

Now that you know, stop lingering, and choose to exercise your audacity to fail. Hey, getUp, cheerUp, standUp and go get it done. You shall NOT fail. Impossible is a myth. Start anyhow, from anywhere, with anything, and you shall #succeed if you faint not..#Amen. 🙏🙏🤝👍.

Good Governance Metrics.

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The metrics of good governance are reliable indicators that measure good governance. We all want to be able to tell if the government in power is performing well or not.

The government in different countries operates under a differing paradigm, circumstances and factors. In the same country, one regime may face different challenges from predecessors. Usually, everyone has some opinion on government’s performance but, the validity of such opinion is a subjective concern.

The question has been how to objectively assess the performance of a government, do a comparative analysis against benchmarks or best practices, and make a valid judgement that respects prevailing circumstances in the country, and the level of government. This article highlights the how and more.

The fundamental issue of socio-economic development and poverty alleviation come first and foremost to good governance measures. And that is called ‘development dividend’ of good governance, according to the World Bank Institute.

What is Governance?

Governance is the action or manner of governing a state, organization, etc. It can be also be put as the traditions & institutions by which authority is exercised. Governance is about decision-making and the process by which the decisions are implemented.

On the other hand, good governance refers to how efficiently & effectively does the government provides all its umbrella services to her people.

According to the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, there is a significant degree of consensus that good governance relates to political and institutional processes and outcomes that are deemed necessary to achieve the goals of development.

Depending on the context and the overriding objective sought, good governance has been said at various times to encompass: full respect of human rights, the rule of law, effective participation, multi-actor partnerships, political pluralism, transparent and accountable processes and institutions, an efficient and effective public sector, legitimacy, access to knowledge, information and education, political empowerment of people, equity, sustainability, and attitudes and values that foster responsibility, solidarity and tolerance.

Characteristics [Attributes] of Good Governance.

Measurable Components of Governance:

To evaluate governance, there is a need to classify the extensive aspects of governance activities into fewer sensitive components.

The following three broad dimensions can effectively capture every aspect of governance that will be of interest to an evaluator:

  1. The process by which those in authority are selected and replaced
    • 1.1. VOICE & ACCOUNTABILITY [freedom of the press, freedom of speech, equal opportunity for all to participate, etc;
    • 1.2. POLITICAL STABILITY & ABSENCE OF VIOLENCE
  2. The capacity of the government to formulate and implement policies
    • 2.1. GOVERNMENT EFFECTIVENESS
    • 2.2. REGULATORY QUALITY
  3. The respect of citizens and state for institutions that govern interactions among them
    • 3.1. RULE OF LAW,
    • 3.2. CONTROL OF CORRUPTION

The Six Indicators [Metrics] of Good Governance:

To objectively measure the three broad dimensions of governance, the following sensitive indicators are used:
  1. Voice and accountability: Citizen participation, independent media
  2. Political instability and violence: Threat of state coup
  3. Government effectiveness: Quality of civil service
  4. Regulatory burden: “Market-unfriendly” policies
  5. Rule of law: Perceptions of crime, an effective judiciary, enforceable contracts
  6. Corruption: Perceptions of corruption
When each of these six indicators is rated by some perception index, you can fairly tell how well a government is governing her people.

Principles of Good Governance.

IN CONCLUSION,

The importance of governance in promoting development and alleviating poverty is universally accepted but, measuring the quality of governance until recently was an elusive challenge.
Hopefully, #citizens would learn to assess or judge their government performance at every level using the above measures. The government can guide and review their effectiveness using the same metrics.

Obviously, assessing good governance is not rocket science. Anyone can give a fairly good evaluation of how well any government is performing using the above six point. Never again should citizens claim they don’t know how to tell whether their government is doing well or not.

©This Article titled “Good Governance Metrics” was written by Dr. Abraham Idokoko. He is a member of the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), and the convener of Citizens Alliance, Nigeria.

Reference

Let’s #RollBack, #Beat, #End Malaria: It’s World #Malaria Day.

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According to the World Malaria Report, since year 2000,

💉 6 countries have eliminated malaria;

💉 12 countries have attained zero malaria status;

💉 More than 40 countries have fewer than 10,000 cases.

🌍 Essentially half the world is now malaria-free. In the other half of our world, thousands, mainly children are being killed by Malaria.

Indeed, the perennial, age-long war against Malaria is at a cross road, are we #ReadyToBeatMalaria?

LET’S HIT THE NAIL ON THE HEAD.

Mosquitoes transmit malaria parasites. If they don’t bite us, 99.99% of malaria cases will be averted in human population. If humans no longer have the parasite, mosquitoes won’t get re-infected. So, malaria transmission in urban and semi-urban communities will be completely interrupted and eradicated.

Notably, mosquitoes do not just transmit ONLY Malaria parasites, in case you are thinking malaria can easily be cured with medications.

Most of the mosquitoes in urban and semi-urban areas are NOT Anopheles. Many are culex and Aedes mosquitoes, etc.

These mosquitoes transmit very dangerous viruses and worms that are not easily amenable to simple medications. Like Yellow Fever, Dengue Fever, Lymphatic Filariasis [commonly called Elephantiasis], etc

Besides worries about Malaria, we all need to do ourselves some favour, PREVENT YOUR CHILDREN AND YOURSELF from mosquito bites.

You can make your environment & home mosqiuito free. It takes collective effort to rid our homes and neighbourhood of open, stale water sources.

Intermittent fumigation from time to time will destroy both larva and adult mosquitoes in the vegetations, water bodies and hidden corners.

Interestingly, this week doubles as the world immunization week. So, attempt to check the immunization records of your children and yourself.

YELLOW FEVER has a vaccine that works. Walk into a health centre nearby to get vaccinated if your records of past vaccination is in doubt.

Generally, to save your life and that of your loved ones, ensure you test every episode of persisting FEVER before assuming it is just Malaria.

Fever can be due to many other diseases transmitted by the same mosquitoes. And for most of them, early diagnosis and prompt treatment is the surest guarantee of survival, full recovery or minimal complications.

If it is Malaria, using an artemisinin-based combination drugs from a reliable source is important. ACTs, as the medications are called has the added advantage of killing the forms of the malaria parasite that mosquito picks up when they bite. Thereby, disrupting the transmission cycle. Most other antimalaria do not have these effect.

In summary, where ever you see “Mr, Ms. or Mrs Mosquitoes”, don’t be kind, “shoot at sight” for the kill. Those guys are not known to hold any positive value, healthwise.

It’s 25th April, the World Malaria Day. To mark the day & at every other day through the year, we should all freely share this info with everyone on our platforms.

The question i was asked:

Any suggestions with regards to the “shoot and kill” strategy? Some children may react to certain insecticides, like Baygon. Are there safer brands in the market that you could suggest? Also, can frequency of falling ill due to malaria affect a child’s ability to learn? Please, share your candid responses@Dr Abraham.

My Response:

😃 lol. @ #ShootAndKill Strategy

“The shoot to kill at sight strategy” against mosquitoes is a mnemonic that implies USING ALL NECESSARY MEANS.

However, safety of measures used is paramount to avoid self poisoning and envrionmental hazards.

In that wise, using chemical measures should be your last option. All efforts should focus on physically preventing the survival of mosquitoes in your home & environment.

DO NOT, i repeat, DO NOT attempt to procure, store and use, dangerous industrial chemicals because you want to kill mosquitoes.

Risk of self poisoning is very high.

When environmental chemical use becomes inevitable, call fumigation experts to do it. They come with their chemicals, use them safely and go with any remnant.

Please, ensure you observe more than the recommended timeframe to stay away from a recently fumigated premises. It depends on the chemicals used.

Safe physical measures include, never allowing physical collection of OPEN water in your home & neighborhood, including flower ports. If you store water, keep them in airtight, sealed containers.

LET THE DRAINAGES FLOW. FLUSH THEM REGULARLY. Apply an oil film over any body of open water that you cannot eliminate, from time to time.

CUT THE VEGETATION AROUND YOU, if any.

Fix appropriate nets in your doors & windows. There are insecticide treated nets, procure that if you can find them. Otherwise, properly fitted regular insect-nets would do.

Wear well-covering clothes when outdoor if your environment is insects infested. Long sleeves, trousers and stockings might be the barrier to save your child & yourself from that nasty insect bite that begins your journey to developing malaria.

It is not about whether it is day or night, the mosquitoes that transmit urban yellow fever, Dengue and Elephantiasis bite during the day. Wear protective clothings when outdoors.

Not only children, adults react to several insecticides. I find many insecticides highly repugnant, myself. Hence, i am not a fan of insecticides and other chemical measures. They should be reserved for when all other measures fail.

I will not attempt to recommend any specifically #safe brand of insecticide. Not because i don’t want to endorse any brand but, that you can not tell which one a person will react to until he/she is exposed to it. They are all toxic, no matter how sweet smelling the perfume added is. Sometimes, it is not the active ingredient that is the problem but, its concentration, addictives, duration after spray before re-entry house, direct spray on the child’s clothing, toys or bed, etc.

So, the best recommendations for parents is never use any type that you have reacted to. If you reacted to it, your child will likely do.

Do not spray the insecticides directly on clothing or solid objects where it might stick for longer, it is meant to be sprayed into the air. If it is powder, it is meant to be used in corners that are inaccessible to children. Infact, don’t use insecticide powders if you have little children.

Generally, the rule of thumb is to spray your home when you are going away for #hours. Ignore that 15-30minutes instructions. Give it hours, when you are back, the smell should be out, and lesser risk of reaction.

NB: There are insecticide-treated paints, which you can use on your house. They are safe and effective for years. If you can afford them, search your local sources and order.

Certainly, frequent Malaria affects a child’s neuro-development, cognition and ability to learn.

It is one reason #Malaria remain one of the biggest problem of the African child. It accounts for significant gaps in the cognitive performance of the African child relative to those in Malaria free zones of the world. I will spear you the details.

With chances of an effective vaccine still some time away, your newborn and growing child depends majorly on you, the parent particularly the mother to survive Malaria in the first few months to years of life.

That brings to bear the broad importance of #Breastfeeding to a child’s protection from many diseases, neuro-development and cognitive performance.

Your child do not have any prior immunity to many diseases including malaria, and are unable to protect him or herself. Breastfeeding was one way African mothers helped their children survive the endemic disease through the generations. Today, as recommended, exclusive breastfeeding for the first 4-6months, and continuation with complementary feeds for up to 2years, is one effective way of boosting your child’s ability to fight Malaria, other diseases, and grow optimally.

Do not forget other measures already discussed above.

Most importantly, if your child has a persisting #fever, don’t ignore, don’t self-medicate, visit your nearby health facility to test for what is causing that fever. Yes, i know it could be annoying to frequently visit hospitals but, it is a lot wiser, cheaper and better than “i wish i had presented earlier”.

Let’s #fight, #RollBack, #Beat and #End Malaria, in our lifetime.

#ReadyToBeatMalaria, #WorldMalariaDay,
#EndMalaria, #HealthForAll

Medicine’s Secret Shame unveiled..!

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On Friday, 6th February 2015, Oncologist & Fulbright scholar, Ranjana Srivastava, took to theGuardian.com to xray a perennial cankerworm tucked neatly into the bright white coats or scrubs of men and women saddled with the responsibility to restore the health of billions in our world.

Here is the link to the original article titled:

How doctors treat doctors may be medicine’s secret shame.

It was a noteful flashlight into a problem that particularly bedevil the profession in Nigeria, like every other nation. I’m yet to decipher the logic that upholding ‘unhealthy rivarly or outright oppression of one another’ rather than ‘mutual respect’ is a better way to entrench the age-long traditions of the noble trade of medical practive. In terms of improving prospects or promoting the collective public image and mental wellbeing, I’m not sure that approach is working.

For me, the following excerpts were insightful from theguardian article by Ranjana Srivastava & I share thus:

“…Absolutely. The medical profession as a whole abounds with fragile egos and deep vulnerabilities..”

“Research, here and abroad, points to increasing levels of anxiety, depression and burnout among doctors. We traditionally invoke factors such as long hours, demanding patients and unending bureaucracy as the cause but perhaps it is worth asking what role do we play in harming each other, however unintentionally…” The patients suffer inevitably thereby.

May we all find grace to be true brethren rather than competitors in our selfless efforts to save lives, one at a time among billions across the globe..!!

And for a way forward,

We can all use some of the advise in the video clip below: “Protect your creative genius” by Jamie Katuna

Russia and the West: Where did it all go wrong? -BBC News

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Russia and the West: Where did it all go wrong? – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-37658286

Now more than ever after the disintegration of the USSR, the aggressive reappearance of the Vladimir Putin led Russia Federation in the international scene is raising more germaine questions than answers, fast unsettling the global community that was already at home with the unipolar world order and definitely igniting migraine in the heads of NATO leaders, the US led Western Alliance.

The above publication by BBC NEWS did some justice to the subject that you may find worthy of your inquisitive mind. So, click http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-37658286  , read and drop your take, remarks and comments right here.

Preventing Colon, Prostate & Liver Cancers: Tips for Everyone!!

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Cancer is one of the most critical health issue confronting 21st century populations. This lecture will describe to you the best practices for colon, prostate and liver cancer prevention in primary healthcare practice that anyone can understand and learn from.

Web Hosting

So, download this cancer prevention lecture, learn all you can, practice everything and share the information. Together, we shall win the war against cancer in our lifetimes!!

FMoH Guidelines for Young Persons’ Participation in Research and Accessing Sexual and Reproductive Health Services in Nigeria (2014).

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If you do research in Nigeria involving children and adolescent or you provide sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services to young persons within Nigeria then, you must have been faced with the challenge of finding legal and regulatory framework to guide your work. Today, you need not look or worry any further as the Federal Ministry of Health has a consultative report document that can guide your work. Click FMoH Guidelines for Young Persons Participation in Research & Accessing SRH Services in Nigeria 2014  for your copy.

According to Dr. Khaliru Alhassan, the Hon. Minister of State for Health and Supervising Minister of Health, in his foreword to the document, he said that “..Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) consequences disproportionately affect children, adolescents, and young persons. They account largely for morbidity and mortality in these groups in many African countries including Nigeria and have slowed down or reversed the gains of the child survival efforts of the last decade. The need to mainstream children and adolescents in national reproductive health programmes has become even more significant because children profoundly depend on adults for participation in research and access to SRH services that affect their survival and development.

As part of efforts of the Federal Government of Nigeria, to strengthen SRH interventions across the country the need for the Federal Ministry of Health to develop a guidance document to address gaps currently inhibiting participation of children in SRH research and their access to services has become pertinent. This document is designed out of the need to provide guidance in determining the age at which children, adolescents and young persons can give consent for SRH research and access to services without parental consent and in addition, establish standards of practice with regards to management of confidentiality for SRH research and service provision in the best interest of the child. Also some ethical considerations become necessary when engaging children with special conditions in SRH research and service provision.

The Federal Government of Nigeria expects that all health professionals and organizations in the country involved with engaging children, adolescents and young persons in SRH research and their access to services will uphold the standards prescribed in this guidance document. This document is expected to be implemented along with the National Health Research Ethics Council and eventually adopted as a policy document…”

Document source: http://www.nhvmas-ng.org/website/pubcontent.php?pubid=21

#SRH #ASRH #Research #Children #Adolescent #Nigeria #FMOH #PopulationCouncil #Health

#Xenophobia & #Racism in Contemporary Times: a peep into the African dynamics

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For me, it is absolute NO to #Xenophobia or more correctly #Racism, wherever it is happening globally including Northern Nigeria where southerners and sometimes, selectively christian-southerners are considered and treated as foreigners in their own country even by the host state governments. They are usually killed at will for flimsy reasons or no reason at all except for the fact that they are strangers in those communities or share a religious perspective different from the persecutors. Of course, similar incidences do occur down south in Nigeria but, much less violent or fatal.

Though humans of all skin colour or faith are guilty of these acts, it is a long made conclusion that the trend between blacks to blacks is seemingly much worse, least reported and absolutely senseless. Friends have always stirred at me whenever I dared to remind them that black people are actually the worst racist in contemporary times if objectively anaylsed. You may call it tribalism, ethnic rivalry or religious war or any other suitable term.

In the simplest explanation, more often than not, whites are racist because they feel superior and wants all others to come under their control but, blacks do theirs for a deep sense of envy, hatred and endemic inferiority complex. An average black man tolerates people of other tribe as long as they are poorer, suffering and less productive but, trouble starts when a non indigenous group are seen to be progressive, contributing to society progress and getting less dependent. Elsewhere, some white populations are known to prefer such crop of foreigners whom they will rather encourage to stay so they can exploit their productive abilities to build their societies.

This is not to excuse the cruelty of white racist and the unfathomable crimes they commit but, I hope that the resurging incidences of racism across the globe from SA to USA to Northern Nigeria will awaken our instinct to rethink and reform how we see or treat each and every other human being we interact with. #Racism or #Xenophobia is an assault on our collective humanity. All arsenals must be deployed to stamped it out. I am Abraham Idokoko and I #saynotoXenophobia..!!!

Click here for more… http://www.theweek.co.uk/63378/south-african-xenophobia-why-is-there-so-much-hatred-of-foreigners?fb_action_ids=10152968785168759&fb_action_types=og.shares&fb_source=other_multiline&action_object_map=%5B818313884913105%5D&action_type_map=%5B%22og.shares%22%5D&action_ref_map=%5B%5D

Equality, Inequality and Equity in Perspectives!

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It suffices to assert that God Almighty is the author of “inequality” in the natural order of life. Hence, He made fingers unequal. You don’t need to agree with the statement but you will concur to the following premise.

At the same time, God Almighty established “equity” which makes none of the unequal fingers suffer any deprivation in blood supply or innervation as a result of their positioning, size or limited contribution to functionality of the hand.

More ingeniously, God made it such that the thumb must cooperate with the other four fingers in order for anyone to achieve any meaningful functional use of the hand despite the fact that the thumb is as powerful as the other four fingers put together.

Without further ado, I suppose the foregoing analogy places another huge nail to the coffin of the sensational but dead-on-arrival propaganda of human equality in contemporary times as opposed to the timeless need to resurrect the evidently logical preeminence of equity and functional cooperation as the panacea for sustainable peacebuilding and development in all human society.

In other words, “Equality of humans does not exist except or perhaps in the matchless view of the Most High God. Hence, the pursuit of equity is the soul and sole means of achieving justice and harmony among humans” ..by Abraham Idokoko ©Wíseåb thoughts 2013/11/10.5:33pm.library.unilag!

COVID19 LockDown is NOT a solution: What is?

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In my view, Total Lockdown in response to #COVID19 outbreak was an ADMISSION of failure by the #governments that they DID NOT invest enough in the health system infrastructures over the years in preparation for a mass health crisis.

More importantly, the wide acceptance of LockDown by the #people is more sad, as it is a strong, unambiguous vote of no confidence in the health system to protect them from an epidemic.

Aside the economic consequences of an arbitrary total LockDown, the long term implication for a 21st century health system generates more questions than answers.

In conventional warfare, the armed forces and governments usually prove their capability and strength by reassuring the people to go about their routine business as they have got them covered. That the health systems responded to COVID19 by telling people to go into hiding in their homes was NOT what human beings living in a so-called sophisticated era of history expected and deserved. It is high time to admit that our health systems and governments failed the people, and that woefully.

What do we do then?
It is as simple as: BEGIN TO FIX THE HEALTH SYSTEM while carefully managing the relaxation of the panic-based, “lazy-man approach” tagged “LockDown”, promoted with a propagandist aim to “flatten the curve”.

Before now, most governments thought investment in the health system (especially in the disease surveillance and response capacity) was #optional. At least, they must have seen it is a basal lifeline by now. The trillions they denied the preventive health system and felt was too much, has been lost in few weeks of economic inactivity.

As usual, the politicians aided by malleable experts are busy extending Total LockDowns of apparently healthy people, waiting and wishing the epidemic magically goes away, and hoping the health system miraculously fixes itself; so that they can declare #Victory and return to business as usual.

Not that fast. A concerted investment in the health system infrastructure needs to happen. Many are complaining that THEY ARE NOT TESTING ENOUGH. Of course, they are not testing enough because they have no capacity to. That capacity needs to be expanded and scaled-up permanently, not just for COVID19 but, for all diseases, especially infectious diseases.

I have heard many clinicians defending #LockDown and promoting #FlattenTheCurve with the excuse that we don’t have enough capacity to manage large number of severe cases that might need intensive care. There lies the solution, and it is NOT LockDown. It is to expand facilities and human resource capacity to manage cases. Don’t tell me about cost. That is exactly the mentality that got us here. Rather, Let me know if the cost of doing the above is up to 10% of the economic losses to total lockdown per week. Is it?

Interestingly, preventive medicine and allied health experts have been staying aloof at this golden opportunity to make a case for greater prioritization and funding of preventive health measures in every community and nation. Although, everyone knows that prevention is better than cure when it comes to health, the funding of the health system has been overtly in favour of curative care over the years. COVID19 is an opportunity to rob it in on all governments to make a paradigm shift in their perception of preventive healthcare.

Imagine if Wuhan has a top-notch disease surveillance and response system, and the Chinese government took disease reports seriously, like they take daily security, political and economic briefings. Chances are that SARS_CoV2 would have been stopped in Wuhan, and the story read in literature. Same apply practically every other nation on earth.

Sadly, most governments do NOT currently view health as a security matter. Unfortunately, many health experts, especially Epidemiologist and public health professionals, do NOT see themselves as national security experts. Hence, we do NOT get the attention and funding required for effective practice and development of the discipline. This is the golden chance to push that message every where for the greater good of mankind. In fact, the position of “health security adviser”, to be occupied by a seasoned Epidemiologist with disease surveillance and response experience, should be advocated for government structures at every level. Maybe, that may improve daily consciousness of health security measures at the corridors of power.

In other words, the appropriate response to COVID19 is not arbitrarily total LockDown but, a sober change in perspective about health security at the individual, household, community, national and international level; and a rapid health system reform to expand capacity to detect, track, isolate, manage cases, and protect persons at risk.

In conclusion, the world has been investing in military warfare from time immemorial. No government delays or argue about investment in their military or security infrastructures, even though most countries have NOT fought any war for almost a century. COVID19 has proven beyond doubt that Health is a top security matter, and governments must begin to reform and invest in their health system capacity to be perpetually ready to prevent, protect against and respond to any and every health risk. That is the most progressive response to COVID19, not this arbitrarily total LockDown of apparently healthy people.