Friday 20 March 2020


The University Graduates of Nursing sciences Association (UGONSA) has advised the general public and nurses alike on the raging pandemic of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID 19) which has spread from Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China (where it was first reported)  to every continent of the world.

The association in a statement by its Assistant National Secretary North, Nurse Mustapha Abdulahi Garba, commended the government of Nigeria for its efforts so far in managing the scourge but urged it to prepare to take more drastic measures. The association also saluted the World Health Organisation (WHO) for taking the global lead and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) for taking the local lead in combating the menace and advised the general public and nurses on what they must do at this critical moment.

The statement read thus, “The government’s initiative to institute a travel ban from high-risk countries as well as banning public gathering is commendable. At this critical point, we must elevate love to its highest valour and be our brother’s keeper to complement the government’s effort in defeating this merciless and invisible enemy.

“It is important to inform the general public that vigilant infection control practices coupled with early identification and treatment may help prevent the spread of the virus and potentially decrease the morbidity and mortality associated with it.

“COVID-19 can spread through small droplets from the nose or mouth when a person with the disease coughs or exhales. 

"It is therefore very important to observe and encourage others to observe the WHO’s recommendations  and stay 6 feet (about 2 metres)  away from any person who is sick, wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand rub, and avoid touching the eyes, nose, mouth, and face with unwashed hands.

The association cautioned nurses to take measures to protect themselves with necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) as they battle to rescue the nation from this adversity as it does not want a repeat of the sad episode of Late Nurse Justina Ejelonu who died saving Nigeria from Ebola scourge in the year 2014 only for her remains and history to be precariously discarded by the very Nigerian government she died saving her citizens. 

"We hope the leadership of the country shall one day live to the truth and erase the ugly spot of the discarded Nurse Ejelonu's exploit from our history and decorate her with a befitting posthumous award to avoid an avoidable dangerous situation in the future that may jeopardize the nurses avowed willingness to give all, including paying the ultimate price if need be, for the country.

The association further called on well-meaning Nigerians to assist the government in providing PPEs to hospitals to enable nurses and other healthcare professionals who provide frontline care at this critical moment discharge their duties effectively and efficiently with minimized exposure risk.

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