The Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Chikwe Ihekweazu, says most Nigerians do not have enough confidence to test for COVID-19.
Ihekweazu disclosed this on Monday during an interview on Channels Television’s COVID-19 Pandemic Update.
The NCDC boss explained that the lack of trust has posed a serious challenge in the Federal Government’s efforts to effectively tackle the virus in the country.
“People are not coming out in sufficient numbers to get tested for all sorts of reasons. We are working very hard to bring the sample collection centres closer to the patients.
“70 per cent of Nigerians access their healthcare in the private sector, there is a reason for that. We need to work very hard and that is what we are working on.
“We have to work together. It is not a question of blaming NCDC. It’s really thinking like a nurse, doctor or a leader of the state Ministry of Health that what can we do collectively to increase the level of confidence of the services that we provide,” he said.
On efforts to properly contain the pandemic in the country, the NCDC boss admitted that the “primary challenge is not in infrastructure.”
Ihekweazu called for an improvement in the nation’s healthcare delivery system in order to serve the people diligently.
He is confident that “we will have the biggest transformation in our laboratory capacity in Nigeria ever.”
Speaking further, Ihekweazu commended Lagos State Government for its efforts in increasing more testing of patients.
He explained that the state is the “biggest indicator of where we are. Lagos has consistently made efforts to test as many people as possible.”
Meanwhile, Nigeria reported 298 more infections on Sunday – the third-lowest since June 8 since the gradual reopening of the economy over a month ago.