MSF expresses willingness to collaborate with Borno to unravel mystery behind COVID-19 index case

By Bode Olushegun
Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), otherwise called Doctors Without Borders, has expressed readiness to work with the Borno State Government to unravel the mystery behind the first case of positive COVID-19 in the state.
The first positive case of COVID-19 in the state was a nurse with MSF who had no record of recent travel outside of Borno and the country.
He was brought in sick from one of MSF facilities in Pulka to the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital where he was discovered positive after he died.
He left many people exposed making the state government to call for a probe.
A statement by MSF on Friday said: “Following the tragic loss of one of our colleagues to COVID-19, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) will continue to work with the Borno state government in their efforts to counter the pandemic and will contribute to the recently announced investigation with all the necessary information.”
The statement added that: “Since the onset of COVID-19, MSF has upgraded infection prevention measures across its projects in Nigeria, following the protocols of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and in collaboration with state ministries of health.
“In line with emergency preparedness protocols, all medical staff have been trained in accordance with NCDC protocols, facilities have been upgraded with isolation units and health promotion messages following NCDC protocols have been widely shared with local communities.”
It said: “MSF has been working in Borno since 2016 and is providing free and essential medical care; in 2019 alone 48,000 patients were admitted to the MSF’s emergency rooms in Borno state.
“In collaboration and agreement with the Nigerian Government, MSF has also responded to various health crises over the years, including cholera, measles, malnutrition and malaria.”
The MSF said: “Our priority remains to ensure that patients are treated in a safe and healthy environment and to honour our commitment of providing free and essential life-saving care to the population of Borno State.
“MSF will continue with this commitment, guided by medical ethics, as we are in all the locations where we work, and as we have been since MSF began almost 50 years ago.”
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