The Community Outreach for Development and Welfare Advocacy (CODWA) in a strong term condemned the uncivilized and unprofessional handling of a purported COVID-19 case-patient, Susan Idoko Lawani by the Benue state government and the Nigeria Centre for Diseases Control (NCDC). CODWA have monitored this supposed COVID-19 case-patient since her first public video that went viral over three (3) weeks ago; in the said video she claimed that it has been her sixteenth (16) days in forced isolation.
Susan claimed to have arrived Nigeria from London on the 22nd March 2020, she on her own volition went to Grace Community Hospital in Makurdi on 24th March for pains because her flight took twenty-five hours from London to Nigeria. Her second video talked about how the Governor of Benue state, Mr. Samuel Ortom and his team allegedly held a press conference to announce her as the index case-patient in Benue state without proper test and without her consent. This is the height of unprofessional conduct devoid of Public Health principles and confidentiality.
We are taken aback to see another video where she told the public it has been forty-two (42) days since her detention on arrival from England. We equally watched her interview with Channels TV where she made a revealing health and human rights violations on what she has been through since her forced isolation, and subsequent transfer from Makurdi to Abuja by the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
CODWA observed Susan’s predicament as humiliating, official torture, undignified and display of ignoble stage show by the Federal government of Nigeria in a twenty-first century world.
Our concerns and conclusion is hinged on the dehumanization of Susan physically and psychologically. Her present conditions is traumatizing and exposes the characteristics obtained in failed state, and failed health systems.
For the avoidance of doubt, it is hilarious to believe that Susan is a COVID-19 case-patient. Our reasons are situated within the public health underlying principle of incubation period as it regards COVID-19
The World Health Organization (WHO) case definition and incubation for COVID-19 is between 5 to 16 days but she has spent over forty-five days in both Benue and Abuja without symptoms, and possible breakdown as a result of health related problems. Let us assume that Susan is asymptomatic and a “super human being.” Going by her agile look in the last video after forty-two (42) days in isolation, she could not be as healthy and strong as displayed in her self-made video.
We call on the Minister for health and the Director General of the NCDC to as a matter of urgency and fundamental rights put Susan Idoko Lawani to transparent health procedures according to her desire and inline with universal public health best practices.
Comrade Taiwo Otitolaye
Community Outreach for Development and Welfare Advocacy (CODWA)