Minister of State for Health, Olorunnimbe Mamora, has cited shortage of manpower in critical medical areas among others as reason the federal government enlisted the help of Chinese doctors in the battle against coronavirus despite overwhelming opposition.
The news that 18 Chinese doctors will arrive the country anytime soon to help the country to combat the pandemic has been met with disapproval in several quarters including the Nigerian Medical Association.
Many opposed to the coming of the Chinese doctors argued that Italy’s coronavirus case spiked after medical workers from the Asian country which is the grand zero of the pandemic went to the European country on similar mission.
But Mamora said the arrival of the expatriates was cast in stone and went on to justify the position of the government.
He said: “We have only two indigenous experts currently serving seven laboratory centres in the country.
“The Chinese doctors are expected to help in setting up molecular laboratories around the country as well as upgrade and reconfigure existing ones in the country,” he said. He said that the Chinese medical personnel would not have direct contact with Nigerian patients but would only help to reconfigure the laboratories.
“Case testing is the bulk of work because some people are asymptomatic, so we need faster and rapid test kits and processing; we are doing molecular testing that helps us know the viral load as well.
“We need to expand our testing labs across the country as presently, we have two lab scientists in molecular testing, serving seven labs across the country. As we are expanding across the country, we need more people to be trained in molecular testing for faster results.’’