The Murtala Muhammed Foundation (MMF) has launched a telecommunication medical line to assist the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) in its drive to reach those who are showing symptoms of COVID-19 virus but are unable to access the designated isolation centres across the country.
The project codenamed, the “MMF Med Assist Covid Partner Line,” is part of the effort to provide access to relevant and necessary medical information and support for those who may have been exposed to the COVID-19 virus, across the 36 states of the country and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT.
The CEO of the Foundation, Mrs Aisha Muhammed Oyebode noted that “this initiative offers virtual healthcare delivery in circumstances fast becoming our new normal, in collaboration with the NCDC helpline.”
“This is a response to the NCDC’s request for additional call centre support during the COVID-19 pandemic, to support end-users, to prevent a health crisis.
The helpline will allow callers to consult with medical professionals virtually, who will be able to prescribe necessary treatment to forestall an escalation of symptoms,” Mrs Muhammed Oyebode affirmed.
The call centre support lines are also available in the major indigenous languages – Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba to allow a better understanding and essentially improves the communication flow.
Recall that recently, the Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, stated that many patients who tested positive to the novel Corona Virus had refused to go to the isolation centres and prefer to self-medicate while some remained untraceable having left incorrect contact information.
Mrs Muhammed Oyebode noted that records show that about 75% of those infected refused to present themselves for admission at Isolation Centres in Lagos State alone, “making it imperative for MMF to come up with this support.”
The dedicated Med Assist Telemedicine Hotline: 08180640000 is poised to be launched in the 36 states of the country and the FCT,” Muhammed Oyebode stated.
With the Corona Virus far from over and setting us in place for the new normal, many countries are still dealing with large cases and the fear of “the second wave” could best be averted with prompt support from medical professionals who are readily available and this is what the MMF Med Assist Covid Partner Line provides.
Experience from past epidemics also indicate that this impact on mental health is likely to persist in the medium to long term hence there is need for medical necessity but, increasingly, evidence suggests that video calls can help prevent depression.
A study in Cyberpsychology recently examined levels of connectedness among pairs across four types of communication (in-person, video chat, audio chat and instant messaging).
The highest levels of connectedness were in-person, but they were only slightly higher than the video chats; this then also implies that consulting with medical professionals virtually who prescribe necessary treatment will be able forestall an escalation of symptoms to patients.
The Murtala Muhammed Foundation (MMF) is a non-profit organization, founded on the ideals of the Late Gen. Murtala Muhammed, a former Head of State of Nigeria (1975-76).
MMF is dedicated to improving the quality of life of Africans. The Foundation specifically focuses on engendering self-reliance and fulfilment by working tirelessly on policy and advocacy for issues that impact on ethics, equity, good governance and economic empowerment, encouraging business development, education and providing medium term disaster relief.
It is for this reason the Foundation established a response plan to COVID-19 pandemic.