By Chioma Obinna
Management of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH has approved life insurance for each staff working as warriors in the drive to rid Nigeria of COVID-19.
The Chief Medical Director of LUTH, Prof Chris Bode while addressing health workers at the institution acknowledged the difficulties involved in managing the condition, adding that; “We intend to record next to zero rates of patient-to-staff infection by adopting internationally recommended best practices.
Further, he disclosed that working closely with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, and Federal Ministry of Health, FMOH, the hospital has also acquired enough materials to work with.
“We have also suitably modified the wards to commence admissions from the afternoon of Monday the 6th of April, 2020 in LUTH. We have scaled down the admission of routine cases while all in-patients are being transferred to Block E for ease of care.”
To ensure proper protection of staff, Bode said frontline officers must wear N95 masks and stay at least six feet away while triaging any patient and will call in the Infectious Diseases Unit to see any suspected case.
“We shall do this with the love of each other and care for our patients. We shall give respect and dignity to each other as COVID-19 Warriors and patients to whom we represent the only hope in these difficult days. Non-resident staff working on this will be housed within or near LUTH.
Further, Bode noted that it was only human for people to be afraid but encouraged health workers of the institution not to resign to fears and give hope and care to those who need them to be brave.
Stating that LUTH now has more than 120 warriors, volunteers who have been trained and are ready to be meaningfully deployed, he explained that since early February 2020, all-volunteer group of staff comprising Nurses, Pharmacists, Doctors, Laboratory Scientists, Hygienists, Porters, and Drivers have been planning for their involvement in the fight against the COVID-19 scourge.
“We had earlier identified the four Wards on the newly rehabilitated Block B as suitable for an Isolation Centre while efforts were in progress to secure enough resources and consumables for us to admit and treat Nigerians afflicted with COVID-19 in LUTH.
“Suspected cases will be kept in the old Isolation Centre near the A/E building and confirmed cases are to be admitted through a dedicated route onto the B Block through the gate opposite the Oxygen Room.
“We are ready for this challenge and, let me tell you, if we do not combat COVID-19 resolutely, COVID-19 may look for each of us in our homes.
“Our Virology Laboratory is internationally recognised and was the first to confirm the disease in Nigeria while more than 30 LUTH personnel have been assisting the Lagos Team in various capacities till date.”
The CMD further hinted the workers that the WHO, the Lagos State Government, and other partners have promised to assist them in the collective efforts while they full backing of the Federal Government.
“I speak for all in commending HE the Executive Governor of Lagos State, Governor Babajide Sanwoolu and his indefatigable Honorable Commissioner of Health, Prof Akin Abayomi for the trail-blazing leadership of the COVID-19 Response Team in Lagos.
He commended President Muhammadu Buhari, the minister of health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, NCDC Director-General, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu for making available 60 beds, PPEs, Masks and other consumables to LUTH.
“We have been promised more beds are coming shortly and that all needed materials for our noble efforts will be given utmost priority.
He said: “I, therefore, implore each of us to commence this assignment with courage in our hearts and smiles on our faces, knowing this is what we are best known for. I pray that God shall preserve us as we continue to serve our fellow citizens.