Covid-19 impact on health, education, research and development in Nigeria, Prof. Njidda M. Gadzama
Prof. Njidda M. Gadzama
Biotechnology Centre, University of Maiduguri, Nigeria
Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to present a general observation on the impact of the dreaded COVID-19 pandemic on education and health in Nigeria, and suggests possible strategic plans for the future. We note the wonderful efforts of the President of the World Association for Sustainable Development (WASD), Professor Allam Ahmed, in holding a series of interactive panel sessions at international level on this timely and global topic. These debates were in preparation for WASD’s International Conference of WASD held in July 2020 on this health pandemic. This paper contributes to the timely global sharing of information on the global effects of this pandemic.
Design/Methodology/Approach: The President of Nigeria, His Excellency Hummadu Buhari, established a Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 with the Secretary to the Federal Government, Hon. Barrister Boss Mustapha, as the Chairman. The taskforce had the visibly active participation of the Federal Ministry of Health (particularly the newly created National Centre for Disease Control-NCDC, National Food and Drug Agency), Ministry of Education, and Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Social Development and Disaster Management, with various appropriate Agencies.
Findings: This disease arrived in West Africa in February 2020, and the whole region is at a standstill, like other parts of the world. Nigeria is no exception, and the initial epicentres are Lagos, Ogun State (with the index case) and the Federal Capital Territory Abuja. Except for Cross River State, all the 35 state capitals and Abuja, the Federal Capital, have reported cases, with Kano State becoming another big epicentre because of its population size. As of 30 June 2020, there were a total of 25,713 tested positive cases, with 9,745 discharged from hospitals and 590 deaths. At zoned levels, the South-West zone has the greatest number with 19,425 cases, followed by North-West (5,617), North-East (2,645), South-South (2,614), and North Central (1,602), with South-East (1,502) having fewest incidences. These results are in reference to the global total of over 10,487,022 cases with 511,546 deaths. The data on the incidences in Nigeria, together with the impact on education at national, zoned, and state levels is planned for January 2021; these will be collated and accordingly published.
Originality/Value: These results give evidence to the presence of COVID-19 in Nigeria as part of the monumental global economic, educational and health crisis that has befallen humanity since December 2019, originating in Wuhan, China. We make imperative investigation into the future for Nigeria’s sustainable education (with implications for the significance of e-learning), research and development post-COVID-19.
Keywords: COVID-19, health, global pandemic, epicentres, impact on education, e-learning, research and development, Nigeria.