Dr Rekevwe Ugwumba, a former consultant to the Senate Committee on Health has called on the government to avoid politics with the vaccination sharing formula across states in Nigeria, stressing that the process must be based on data and science made available to the general public.
Ugwumba expressed her concerns via an interview with THISDAY News. In her opinion, Lagos, which is the epicenter of the virus, was given less allocation of vaccinations compared to some northern states which have rarer cases, which does not seem logical.
“We are doing politics where politics has no business. This is a science-based decision making that must be done through science, not politics. Lagos State that is densely populated would get lesser vaccines than Kano State, whereas we know there are over 1,000 infection cases today in Lagos, and it is actually where the infections really found. So how on earth would we be giving the North more vaccines than the densely populated area where the vaccine is needed?
“The bottom line is we really need to stop doing politics where politics has no business. We really need to ask the scientist, doctors and researchers to help us distribute these vaccines so that we can stop the spread of the COVID-19,” she said.
The expert also condemned the linking of National Identification Number (NIN) to mobile phone numbers nationally, which she pointed out is causing huge crowds, when there should be a total lockdown and social distancing.
This, she stated, is happening at a time when other countries are stopping their citizens from going out if not an essential worker.
“In the midst of new strains and the second wave of the virus, we are getting worried because we are putting crazy deadlines and more pressure on Nigerians who are already stressed to the max with this virus and nobody knows what the true numbers are because a lot of testing has not been done.
“We know that the way to stop this COVID-19 is to vaccinate people to stop the spread of this virus, and we haven’t done that either. And in fact, we are encouraging the spread because we are asking people to queue at places (in the crowd) where registrations are ongoing. The government is doing very little to help Nigerians in the distribution of the vaccines,” the expert stated.
She also kicked against the planned reopening of schools, stressing that schools reopening should be postponed until vaccination is spread across the country.