Diaries of a Doctor Episode 10

The Nigerian health system has experienced some degree of turbulence in the last 15 months which has been further compounded by the arrival of a pandemic. The government’s effort to manage the economy with limited and scarce resources has led to a brewing crisis primarily in the educational, health and judicial system. In an attempt to mitigate the ongoing global challenges, gov’t has resulted to seeking aid from global initiatives, multinationals and non-governmental organisations to provide potent vaccines to reduce the prevalence of the infection.

The provision of these vaccines, training of health workers and health education has helped with some degree of coverage despite the mistrusts and misbeliefs of Nigerians. As major stakeholders in the medical profession, we have witnessed some individuals presenting with various reactions and side effects to the vaccine. A typical example is that of a 50-year-old hypertensive and diabetic woman with poor blood pressure control who came into our facility for her 1st dose. Shortly after administration, she complained of lightheadedness, fatigue and fainting spells which prompted swift resuscitative measure and admission. Fortunately, my centre had the facility to manage such cases including admission and minor surgical procedures.

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So far, the percentage of persons who have presented with mild to moderate side effects is insignificant compared to the total number of Nigerians who have been vaccinated.

In conclusion, recent data has revealed that eighty to ninety percent of Nigerians are yet to receive the vaccine and this can be attributed to some factors like an inadequate number of doses, mistrust and misbeliefs, poor community mobilization and sensitization.

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