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Lagos Medical Guild rues Trump/WHO spat

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The Medical Guild in Lagos State says the U.S Government’s decision to stop funding of the World Health Organisation (WHO) will affect the organisation’s ability to coordinate the response to COVID-19 pandemic.

The guild’s Chairman, Dr Oluwajimi Sodipo, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Lagosthat the U.S’ decision to stop funding of WHO was not the right decision at this critical time.

Medical Guild is an umbrella body for all medical doctors working in the employment of the Lagos State Government.

American President Donald Trump had presented the freezing of U.S funding to the WHO.

This was Trump’s direct response to what he claims was “WHO’s slow reaction in raising the alarm over the global threat from the Coronavirus and being too “China-centric” in its response”.

On the orders of Trump, the U.S, one of the key founding members of — and the largest donor to — WHO, announced its intention to freeze its funding for the agency, pending a review of WHO’s actions during the Coronavirus pandemic.

The review could last for up to three months.Trump’s administration has been increasingly critical of the agency, which for months has guided the world in how to tackle the deadly Coronavirus.

Reacting, WHO Director-General, Tedros Ghebreyesus, said the agency regretted the U.S decision to withdraw its funding.

According to Sodipo, WHO is the body primarily responsible for the coordination of the response to COVID-19 and other diseases of international importance.

“No country can fight COVID-19 alone, because it is an easily contagious disease that requires collective efforts of all.

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“WHO should still be funded by the U.S, because it is going to affect the ability of the organisation to be able to coordinate the response to COVID-19.

“WHO has representatives, who are deployed to different countries to work along side other local health authorities in these countries.

“So, once they now have a decrease in funding, it means WHO will not be able to have these representatives, and it will now weaken the response of those countries in tackling COVID-19,” Sodipo said.

He, however, urged Nigerians who might have the virus to key into the central system by alerting the appropriate body, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, in charge of managing COVID-19.

The chairman said it would be illegal for anybody to access private health facilities for the treatment of COVID-19, adding that adequate action should be taken against such persons.

“Government policies are clear; anybody that tests positive needs to be brought in, get admitted, no matter the severity of the illness, because the aim is to prevent community spread.

“The elite in the society need to live by example, because it is one thing to make rules and regulations; the problem is following those rules and that has been the challenge,” he said. (NAN)

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