‘Present pandemic is teaching nations to be self-reliant’

THE events that trailed the global outbreak of COVID-19 should teach Nigeria and the rest of Africa that every country should be largely self-reliant as no nation would prioritise the welfare of citizens of other countries above its people.

Making this submission in Ibadan, on Tuesday, was Dr Olusola Akinniyi, Managing Director, Union Diagnostic and Clinical Services Plc.

Akinniyi, while speaking on the sidelines of the opening ceremony of the Ibadan Mega Diagnostic Centre of the company, noted that the global epidemic has left Nigeria and other developing nations of the world disillusioned as a result of infrastructural deficit.

According to him, “The COVID-19 outbreak has taught us as a nation that we need to expand our health infrastructure. Looking at it critically, you will note that the COVID-19 pandemic reinforces the fact that the world in which we live in is a place of struggle for survival; you put your interest first. At the peak of the pandemic, nations of the world were drifted to the threshold of survival of the fittest. If there is another outbreak in the future, we have learnt that China will first of all look at the welfare of its citizens before considering the interest of other nations. Before exporting drugs or reagents to other countries, it would consider its own interest first.

“It then means that we should take a cue from the present situation across the globe and start to do our own thing and make our institutions strong and running. Pharmaceutical companies that are into buying drugs before should look at the possibility of manufacturing.

“Likewise, those that are buying reagents should consider the possibility of manufacturing locally. When the chips are down, you first take care of yourself before others.”

Dr Bashir Bello, Oyo State Commissioner for Health, who was represented on the occasion by the state Director, Secondary Healthcare and Training, Dr. Wale Falana, applauded the initiative of the medical outfit.

According to him, the entry of the medical facility would complement efforts of the state government in its drive towards boosting healthcare delivery in the state.

The management of the medical laboratory said the facility was positioned to serve as a one-shop diagnostic centre for all diagnostic tests.

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