Osagie Ehanire, minister of health, says there is a possibility that the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic has not been experienced.
The minister spoke on Tuesday at the maiden edition of the Nigerian Conference of Applied and Field Epidemiology (NiCAFE) 2021 in Abuja.
He said the ministry of health had put measures in place to strengthen the country’s health security.
The minister said the measures include the establishment of the National Reference Laboratory and the establishment of at least one molecular laboratory in all the states of the federation and the FCT.
Ehanire, who was represented by Chikwe Ihekweazu, the NCDC director-general, said Nigerians must think of the other public health challenges that could emerge in the future.
The minister said the country’s population was growing at a rapid rate and this would have an impact on the health system over the next few years.
“This is the reason we’re having the NiCAFE conference because we are not only faced with the pandemic in Nigeria but with multiple disease outbreaks,” he said.
“Every single week, we detect cases of yellow fever, Lassa fever, measles, and other infectious diseases.
“In Nigeria, we’ve had over 128,000 infections and more than 2,000 deaths officially. It pains me to say that there is the possibility that we are yet to see the worst of this pandemic.”
He said the COVID-19 pandemic had turned lives upside down, noting that it had affected over a 190 million people and sadly, the world had lost over four million globally.
The minister, however, expressed commitment to addressing the challenges posed by infectious diseases such as the coronavirus pandemic and cholera.
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