Commentary on the coronavirus pandemic: Nigeria

J. C. Chukwuorji, S. K. Iorfa

    Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review


    About a week after the confirmation of Nigeria’s index case of COVID-19 on February 27, 2020, the Nigerian federal government set up a 12-member Presidential Task Force for the Control of the Coronavirus. The country’s borders were closed on March 23, and the lockdown of cities was also implemented. The unanticipated disruption of scholarly or professional advancement for the 94% of university students who are not currently learning may increase the burden of mental illness among these students and predispose them to social vices. Two suicide deaths occurred during the lockdown. Poverty, lack of trust in the government, ignorance, denial and misplaced religious zealotry negatively impact on the behavior of Nigerians. Fear-induced behavioral changes such as consuming lemon, ginger, garlic, local herbs, and other substances for protection have also become rampant. Loss of income due to the lockdown and the accompanying destitution can also be a pathfinder for numerous other sicknesses and deaths. For the benefit of enhanced prevention and control of infection, only government-funded hospitals and a few designated privately owned hospitals have been permitted to provide continued services at this time. The number of shifts in these hospitals were adjusted such that there are fewer health care professionals in the hospital at a given time. This strategy has inhibited treatment and care for certain groups of people who are not COVID-19 patients. Efforts are being made to develop telehealth services, but most rural residents may not benefit from them.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)S188-S190
    Number of pages3
    JournalPsychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy
    Issue numberS1
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2020


    • COVID-19
    • healthcare system
    • livelihood
    • mental health
    • vulnerabilities

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