The management of Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi-Araba, Lagos, says it has rolled out strategic measures and ready to combat the challenges of management of COVID-19 resolutely.
Prof. Chris Bode, the Chief Medical Director, made the assertion while addressing the management and members of staff of the institution in Lagos on Monday.
“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.
“We intend to record next to zero rates of patient-to-staff infection by adopting internationally recommended best practices,” Bode said.
He said since early February, an all-volunteer group of staff, comprising nurses, pharmacists, doctors, laboratory scientists, hygienists, porters, and drivers, had been planning for their involvement in the fight against COVID-19 scourge.
“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.
“LUTH now has more than 120 warriors and volunteers, who have been trained and are ready to be meaningfully deployed.
“We had earlier identified the four Wards on the newly rehabilitated Block B as suitable for an Isolation Centre.
“Efforts are in progress to secure enough resources and consumables for us to admit and treat Nigerians afflicted with COVID-19 in LUTH.
“Working closely with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Federal Ministry of Health, we have enough materials to work with.
“We have also suitably modified the wards to commence admissions from Monday in LUTH, being the biggest tertiary hospital in Lagos,” Bode said.
According to him, we shall do this with the love of oneself, love of each other and care for our patients.
On welfare, he said: “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.
“Life insurance will be provided for each LUTH staff working as Warriors in this drive to rid Nigeria of COVID 19.
“It is only human to be afraid. We, however, must reign in our fears as healthcare workers and give hope and care to those who need us to be brave.”
The chief medical director implored them to commence the assignment with courage in their hearts and “smiles on our faces, knowing this is what we are best known for”.
On measures in place, he said:
“We have scaled down the admission of routine cases, while all in-patients are being transferred to Block E for ease of care.
“Frontline officers must wear N95 masks and stay at least six feet away from anyone while triaging any patient.
“They will, as usual, call in the Infectious Diseases Unit to see any suspected cases.
According to him, suspected cases will be kept in the old Isolation Centre near the A/E building, while confirmed cases are to admitted through a dedicated route onto the B Block through the gate opposite the Oxygen Room.
“The B Block is cordoned off from all access routes and in-COVID-related hospital traffic shall be rerouted around the Block B Isolation Centre.”
He said the WHO, Lagos State Government, and other partners had promised to assist LUTH in this collective effort.
“We have the fullest backing of the Federal Government, the FMOH, NCDC as well as the assurances of our the state governor in this gallant drive,” the chief medical director said.
Bode, therefore, commended President Muhammadu Buhari, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, Health Minister and Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, the Director-General of NCDC for making available 60 beds, PPEs, Masks and other consumables to LUTH.
He also commended Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu and the Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi for the trail-blazing leadership of the COVID-19 Response Team in Lagos.
“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.