It is a difficult time for us as humans during this fight against COVID-19 pandemic. More than ever, there is need for new inventions to enhance and complement many efforts that already exist. It is however still important that while we crave these innovations, we should not forget that humans will continue to exist after the pandemic.
Thus, whatever we do now should be in line with sustainable development goals. At least, everyone will agree that an invention is not useful if it will save lives now to destroy them later.
Taking a case study of the aerial fumigation that is being talked about, as introduced by Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, we consider this a giant and viable step to curb the spread of coronavirus in Nigeria. Sources including channelstv.com revealed that the Ooni has promised to donate two drones each to all the states in Nigeria to fumigate the country. Of course, fumigation is a practice to control coronavirus in some other countries including China. It is a welcome development and Nigeria must commend the king for his gesture.
For health and safety reasons, and the drive towards sustainable development, we must ask some questions to ensure confidence and continuity healthy life after #COVID-19. Some of these may include:
1. What are the measures to manage exposures to the chemicals; to protect the operators and the public?
2. What are the public health issues (confirmed and potential issues) if people are exposed to the fumigants?
3. Are there information on the safe exposure limits; doses and concentrations?
4. Are the people informed on what to do before, during and after the fumigation exercise?
5. Is there a system to conduct health surveys and monitor impacts on the population? Are there baseline data for such health surveillance?
6. What will be the effects of the fumigants on animals: pets, livestock, and others?
7. What are environmental impacts of the fumigation? Is there potential to compromise the soil for safe agricultural purposes or contribute to climate change, especially because of the quantity that will be released?
8. Are there baseline data for post impact assessment on the environment?
9. Is there clearly written safe operating procedure for the fumigation exercise?
10. Is there a comprehensive risk assessment for the drones? What are the concerns, controls and recovery actions available?
11. Is there clearly defined responsibility to plan, execute, monitor and follow up on the nationwide fumigation?
12. Is there a process for quality assurance and quality control?At the moment, priority is on winning the war against coronavirus. While doing this, the risks and benefits of every technology, method, invention etc used should be properly documented for future reference.
#StaySafe and prevent spread of #covid19
Wash your hands regularly with soap and water. Maintain social distancing.