Volume 103, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Because of the pandemic of COVID-19, the federal government of Nigeria has instituted a mandatory policy requiring everyone going out in public to wear face masks. Unfortunately, the Nigeria media is awash with images of misuse and abuse of face masks by the public, government officials, and healthcare workers. Medical masks are used widely in community settings amid reported scarcity within healthcare facilities. It is observed that some people wear face masks on their chin and neck, and mask wearers give no attention to covering their mouth and nose, especially when talking. Used face masks are kept with personal belongings or disposed indiscriminately in public spaces, leading to self and environmental contamination. Inappropriate use and disposal of face masks in Nigeria could promote the spread of the novel coronavirus in the country and negate the country’s efforts to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. In the implementation of the universal masking policy in Nigeria, federal and state governments ought to consider local applicability, feasibility, and sustainability, as well as identify and mitigate all potential risks and unintended consequences. Also critical is the need for intensive public sensitization and education on appropriate use and disposal of face masks in the country.

[open-access] This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


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  • Received : 07 May 2020
  • Accepted : 09 May 2020
  • Published online : 15 May 2020

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