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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 25  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1-8

COVID-19 Pandemic as a mass killer and existential public health emergency in Nigeria remains unproven: A viewpoint

1 Department of Medicine, University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, Ilorin, Nigeria
2 Department of Behavioral Sciences, University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, Ilorin, Nigeria
3 Department of Jurisprudence and International Law, Delta State University, Abraka, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Emmanuel Obi Okoro
Department of Medicine, University of Ilorin, PMB 1515, Ilorin
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/smj.smj_71_21

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Framing COVID-19 pandemic as mass killer and existential public health emergency/threat in Nigeria with 2,120 COVID-19-related deaths in over 14 months of the pandemic in the country is problematic, especially as other public health conditions kill more Nigerians annually. In 2018, for example, malaria and road traffic accident caused 97,200 and 38,902 deaths, respectively, while HIV/AIDS caused 43,000 deaths in 2019. Therefore, rushing into an extensive vaccination campaign projected to cost 540 billion naira when 76.03 billion naira was allocated for primary health services nationwide including other major immunization programs in the 2021 federal health budget could raise question of priority/effective spending. Especially with COVID-19 deaths relative to reported cases (case fatality ratio) declining to 1.30% by June 30, 2021 from 3.45% in April 2020 and daily mass deaths non-evident. Temporizing to understand how the pandemic evolves especially in jurisdictions with higher need could be cost-effective.

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