WE ALREADY HEARD THAT a team of fifteen Chinese doctors arrived Nigeria yesterday to help us fight the Covid-19 pandemic.
In all sincerity, this is a move that has more of political and diplomatic face to it than anything remotely medical or humanitarian.
Firstly, the Chinese doctors, while supposedly specialists in their various fields, do not have the license to practise medicine in Nigeria, at least not yet. And the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) in conjunction with National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has stated categorically that their – the Chinese physicians – services are not wanted, not in any way.
Secondly, even if they were to be given the license to practise medicine here temporarily, let’s look at their number. They are just 15. What exactly would 15 doctors do for a nation that has almost 300 confirmed cases of Coronavirus scattered across the length and breadth of the country?
Are they coming in as consultants some of who review cases from the comfort of their offices or are they coming to join the house officers and residents at the forefront of the Covid-19 war, which is the Accident&Emedrgency?
No matter the category of their assistance, the real question is: do we really need them? Even though in reality we don’t have enough doctors across the country, what exactly would 15 persons do?
Yes, this might strengthen diplomatic ties between the two countries, but is it really needed? Or is there more to it than meets the eye?
African countries have fewer confirmed Covid-19 cases compared to the rest of the world (less than 11,000 cases in 52 countries), yet we have been the beneficiaries of unprecedented largesse by the world’s top philanthropists, with the likes of Jack Ma, a Chinese billionaire, donating relief materials worth millions of dollars in the fight against Covid-19.
The philanthropy is commendable, no doubt, but beyond that, the African continent now seems to hold more attraction to the advanced countries than is obvious. Why are they suddenly courting us like this? Everyone is skeptical about it, and you would not blame anyone.
Recently, Dr Jean-Paul Mira, Head of the Intensive Care Unit at Cochin Hospital Paris, drew a public outcry when he suggested offhandedly that new Covid-19 vaccines should be tested in Africa.
He said, “Shouldn’t we be doing this study in Africa where there are no masks, no treatment, no intensive care, a little bit like we did in certain AIDS studies or with prostitutes?”
So it seems everyone now has a covert agenda in Africa, maybe Nigeria particularly. Therefore, you can’t blame the NMA and NARD for their blunt refusal. If the NMA/NARD allow this, they may just end up as pawns on the huge chessboard of international politics, easily dispensable and worthless.
On the international scene, the conspiracies involving Africa are so palpable you can cut through them with a knife.
China said they are only returning the favour we did them some time ago, but, while this seems more like a politico-diplomatic move, it is most likely a case of the right thing at the wrong time.
And if you add the popular conspiracy of China deliberately spreading the virus as a form of biological warfare and then the hugely “ridiculous” 5G vs Covid-19 conspiracy supported by renowned Nigerian clergies, the reason for our collective skepticism will not be far-fetched.
Personally, I know this move to be more political than medical. Everything on the international scene is determined by politics and power play. However, whatever the true intentions of the Chinese are, only time will tell. Unfortunately, we may never find out just how deeply it runs.
Until then, the war against Covid-19 isn’t over yet, so stay home and stay safe.
+++Impossibility is nothing. Just believe+++