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COVID-19: In Ogun State, males take harder hits with 71% infections to 29% by females

By IHECHUKWU SUNDAY

Males recorded 71 per cent of male and females 29 per cent of infections in the 1,380 COVID-19 cases in Ogun State as at the end of July 2020, the Deputy Governor, Mrs. Noimot Salako-Oyedele has disclosed.

Mrs. Salako-Oyedele spoke at a virtual media roundtable on COVID-19 and Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health, with the tagline: ‘Meaningful Youth Engagement in Adolescents and Young People’s Sexual Reproductive Health Needs and COVID-19’ and organised by the Ogun State Primary Health Care Development Board (OGPHECADB) in collaboration with the Society for Family Health (SFH)/A360 Project.

Commissioner for Health in the state, Dr. Tomi Coker, was represented at the occasion by Dr. Elijah Ogunsola, the Executive Secretary of OGPHECADB.

Dr. Tomi Coker

Adolescents 360 Nigeria, which is a project being implemented by SFH and OGPHECADB, is a four-and-half year long project, being funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and Children Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF) to increase access to contraception for adolescent girls 15 to 19 in Nigeria, Tanzania, and Ethiopia.

Salako-Oyedele, Chairperson of the COVID-19 Taskforce in Ogun State who was represented at the media roundtable by the Director of Public Health, Ministry of Health, Dr. Olaokun Soyinka, who is the COVID-19 Incidence Manager in the state, stated that within the period under review, 974 males contracted the virus, while 406 females infections were also recorded.

Dr. Olaokun Soyinka

In the graph of age and sex distributions presented on behalf of the deputy governor, Soyinka stated that the state recorded for both males and females, a total of 23 deaths, adding that out of the number, 16 males died and seven females also lost their lives to the COVID-19.

The people within the age range of 30 to 39 years as at July ending this year recorded the highest number, putting the numbers of infected males at 353 with one death and females at 115 with no death.

According to the distributions, the state recorded 22 male and 16 female infections for children between age zero and 10 years, and one of the female children lost her life to COVID-19. Also within the period, 20 males and 23 females between 11 and 19 years were infected and both sexes recorded one death each.

For people between 20 and 29 years, males recorded 173 infections with one death and females also recorded 95 infections with two deaths. Residents of Ogun State between 30 and 39 years also had 353 infections with one death for males, and 115 infections for females with no death. But for people that fall within the age range of 40 to 49 years, 238 infections with five deaths were recorded for males and 90 infections with one death for females.

A total of 111 infections and two deaths were recorded for males and 38 infections with two deaths were also recorded for females aged between 50 and 59 years. The people that fall into the age bracket of 60 and 69 years, also had 36 infections and five deaths for males, and 19 infections for females with no death. A total of 17 infections with one death were recorded for males and eight infections for females with no death for people between 70 and 79 years.

Dr. Israel Orire

The Ogun State Reproductive Health Coordinator, Dr. Israel Orire, who spoke on adolescent reproductive health intervention during COVID-19, put the total of adolescent girls reached and referred with Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH) information during COVID-19 between April and July 2020 at 6,505, adding that a total of 3,673 adolescent girls accessed health facilities for SRH services during COVID-19 within the same period of four months. He also put the number of girls that took contraceptives within the same period at 2,706 (new adopters), while, according to him, a total of 173 adolescent girls were treated for Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) between April and July, this year.

He also revealed some of the challenges: “First, Ogun State had her fair share in reduced source of income to individuals, increased gender-based violence, rape and teenage pregnancy during the lockdown due to some factors such as reduced income in homes and a need to survive, no more office/school/business for escape by persons who are either exposed to or already victims of sexual molestation/violence/rape, and also due to idleness.

“Second, many did not want to visit the health facilities for services due to the fear of being tested for COVID-19, because there was a lot of stigma around COVID-19 positive persons. Health facilities were seen as a potential place to get infected. Third, ASRH (Adolescent Sexual Reproductive Health) was not immediately classified as an essential service at the onset of COVID-19. Mobilization during COVID-19 was challenging, though our mobilizers were provided with PPEs (Personal Protective Equipment), adolescents were unwilling to engage in one-on-one conversation with them due to fear of being infected.

“Ogun State Primary Health Care Board had to partner with SFH/A360 to carry out community sensitization in every ward of Abeokuta South and Ado Odo Ota Local Government Areas on COVID-19 prevention, and need to visit health facilities for ASRH and immunization services.”

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