Editor's note: A member of faculty at the Nigeria Institute of Journalism, Amaso Jack, proposes a series of realistic economic strategies that the Nigerian government can adopt in minimizing the effects of COVID-19 in the already distressed Nigerian economy and offers long term solutions in tackling the viral disease.
COVID-19 is essentially airborne, by thinking outside the box, but within Newton's third law is of motion, that says:
"For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction."
....a handheld anti-COVID-19 nasal inhaler and its design variables is a possible solution.
There are three basic proposed timeline solutions with the third world in view, they are
1. Short term
3. Long term
THE LONG TERM SOLUTION:
The long term working solution that allows economic activities in the third world to proceed, even as the virus gets compromised with time, just might be the option!
My decision to start with the long term is premised on the following factors.
1. I am neither in government nor am I in a direct position to influence policy.
2. Time lag: The time it takes for this to get to the ears of the government, for them to debate, consult, act and approve has been factored in.
3. The time it would take to put the infrastructure in place has also been factored in.
Handheld anti-COVID-19 nasal inhaler: The long terms solution 1:
A long term safe, cost-effective, easy to transfer, easy to distribute hand-held, handy solution should be developed as a long term solution with a possible economic advantage within a year.
I propose the research and development of a handheld anti-COVID-19 nasal inhaler.
Broad thinking about solutions don't always have to come from "within"; the technical space, but the technical details such as COVID-19, must!
1 Kennedy made the point, on May 25, 1961, when he addressed Congress and in 1962; the date was September 12, and the event was his “We Choose to Go to the Moon” speech in Texas, on the campus of Rice University.
• The broad thinking to place a man on the moon was Kennedy's.
• He provided the increased budget for the vision to meet his dream.
• The details were achieved by technical experts in NASA.
• The broad thinking for a handheld anti-COVID-19 nasal inhaler is mine.
• The funding is for Buhari's government and whatever company he chooses to work with.
• The details are for the team of experts and whatever industry Buhari chooses.
2 Strategic thinkers came up with NSC-68, in 1950, as the American policy response to the Soviet cold war threat, it was up to "late" McDonnell Aircraft Corporation, Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation, Vought Aircraft Industries Inc, Republic Aviation Corporation and many others to create the American warplanes of the cold war.
TERMS OF REFERENCE
1. To produce a preventive anti-COVID-19 nasal inhaler of the size of existing Rubb inhaler that is affordable.
2. It should be AFFORDABLE at a cost not exceeding 200 Naira at the most, with 100 Naira as the compromise but 50 as the ideal, with the capacity to neutralize the virus within the destructive time of the virus.
3. It should be free of alcohol and or any other substance that can be addictive.
4. It should have a lifespan to be determined by medical experts.
5. It should have a shelf life to be determined by medical experts.
6. It should be designed to withstand the tropical heat of Nigeria and other tropical countries, without any loss of potency.
7. Scientifically harmful effects of present inhalers should be avoided.
8. It should be free of any known substance that can have adverse effects on health.
9. It should be available for use within a year.
Medical experts should advise on the frequency of use with respect to the staying power of each sniff and other issues that may arise when such a handheld nasal alternative is developed
OPERATIONS: IMMEDIATE ACTION
1. A crack team of experts in and from every University and research centre in the country should be assembled on a specific building in the University of Nigeria Nsukka, close to sufficient helicopter landing space and handed this terms of reference.
2. The government should as a matter of urgency partner either a local or foreign major drug manufacturer for the project.
3. An existing building of the University should be diverted for the purpose
4. The military airlift command of the Nigerian Air Force and the fleet of Super Puma helicopters should be put on standby
Should the researchers require any active ingredient that is within or outside the country, (in the event of not being able to secure private airlift arrangements, the C-130 will (as the worst-case scenario) be required to airlift such raw materials to Enugu airport from the Super Pumas (helicopters) would move them to the location in "life-saving time."
LONG TERM CONSTRUCTION PLAN
Commencement of the design and construction of facilities for the mass production in Nsukka of the anti-COVID-19 inhalers
- Permanent laboratories
The federal government itself should start the construction of a permanent research facility and intervention facility.
- Production facilities in Nsukka campus by the company partner.
- The construction of residential quarters as distinct from the office space and residential areas
An airstrip with a minimum capacity for a short takeoff and landing (STOL) aircraft and to the size of Lockheed's C-130 Hercules.
1 proximity fo students to do their various attachments and a ready pool of industry-standard manpower.
Why the choice of Nsukka? It's pedigree based on crisis response by the evidence for the Biafran war effort.
Nsukka has proven to be the storehouse of intellectuals with the right response system to a crisis.
The government should play its part in funding partnerships.
The facility would be an alternative to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC)
Should the Pandemic move from a mild attack of 2000 infections to moderate, of 50,000, to a severe of 500,000 what would our response be?
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