Short Report - Special Collection: COVID-19

Recommendations for a national Coronavirus disease 2019 response guideline for the care of older persons in Nigeria during and post-pandemic: A family physician’s perspective

Olawunmi Olagundoye, Oluwayemisi Enema, Adunola Adebowale
African Journal of Primary Health Care & Family Medicine | Vol 12, No 1 | a2512 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/phcfm.v12i1.2512 | © 2020 Olawunmi Olagundoye, Oluwayemisi Enema, Adunola Adebowale | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 03 May 2020 | Published: 11 August 2020

About the author(s)

Olawunmi Olagundoye, Department of Family Medicine, General Hospital Lagos, Lagos Island, Nigeria
Oluwayemisi Enema, General Outpatient Department, Orile Agege General Hospital, Agege, Nigeria
Adunola Adebowale, General Outpatient Department, Akodo General Hospital, Ibeju Lekki, Nigeria


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Abstract

The older persons in our society are a special group of people in need of additional measures of care and protection. They have medical, financial, emotional and social needs. The novel Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) only exacerbates those needs. COVID-19 is a new disease, and there is limited information regarding the disease. Based on currently available information, older persons and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions may be at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19. Family physicians provide care for individuals across their lifespan. Because geriatricians are internists or family physicians with post-residency training in geriatric medicine, they are major stakeholders in geriatric care. The authors are concerned about the absence of a COVID-19 response guideline/special advisory targeting the vulnerable population of older adults. The management and response to COVID-19 will be implemented in part based on the local context of available resources. Nigeria has been described as a resource-constrained nation. Infection prevention in older persons in Nigeria will far outweigh the possibilities of treatment given limited resources. The aim was to recommend actionable strategies to prevent COVID-19-related morbidity or mortality among older persons in Nigeria and to promote their overall well-being during and after the pandemic. These recommendations cut across the geriatric medicine domains of physical health, mental health, functioning ability and socio-environmental situation.

Keywords

COVID-19; the elderly; prevention; national health policy; older persons

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