Flying Doctors launches Covid Mobile to ramp up testing, protect health workers
…medical laboratory scientists commend initiative
In an effort to ramp up Covid-19 testing which is still very slow in Nigeria and also to protect frontline health workers, Flying Doctors Healthcare Investment Company has launched what it calls ‘Covid Mobile’.
Covid Mobile is a sample taking vehicle that could help ramp up testing whose mission is to protect Nigeria’s healthcare workers who are taking samples from potentially infected patients in the field.
Evidently, COVID-19 pandemic is having impact across the world and how hard this will touch Africa in general and Nigeria in particular remains to be seen.
This makes preparations and professional response to the crisis are a must so as to be sure that its impact is kept as manageable as possible.
The good news, however, is that the call is being heard and answered and it is that call that prompted Flying Doctors Healthcare Investment Company to launch ‘COVID Mobile’
Experts agree that the group of people that is most at risk of contracting COVID-19 from samples is medical laboratory scientists.
“This COVID test vehicle will benefit our members in a number of ways, the most important being that it reduces the risk of infection,” said Olumide Fatogbe, the Lagos State chairman of the Association of Medical Lab Scientists who was a special guest at the launch of Covid Mobile in Lagos.
Fatogbe commended Ola Brown and her team at the Flying Doctors Healthcare Investment Company for this life-saving prototype.
“A couple of our members in Lagos have already been infected, and we see the number of healthcare workers abroad who have also been infected. We don’t want a repeat of that in Nigeria,’’ he said.
The chairman noted that first, the COVID-19 test vehicle will protect healthcare workers by shielding them from direct patient contact, thus preventing transmission, pointing out that this has been a tremendous problem in Europe, the United States, and Asia.
Secondly, this solution will save money as personal protective equipment (PPE) will not need to be changed between patients as there will be no direct patient contact. “This saving, which could be up to N10 million per week, will definitely be useful funds to be used in other areas,” he noted.
Third, Fatogbe explained that because the number of medical lab scientists in Nigeria is small compared to developed countries, it has become even more vital to optimise their time for the greater good.
“The time spent on teams travelling and testing people in their individual homes and even spent asking for directions could all otherwise limit the number of tests per day,” he said, adding, “getting the most out of the lab scientists’ time, while maintaining safety, is a must.”
He pointed out that the COVID test vehicle also provided a layer of security far beyond entering into patients’ homes.
“All in all, this is a smart solution that will not only keep our members on the frontline safer, but also save money and conserve time and PPE, which are experiencing a global shortage,” he submitted.