By Isaac Ojo
A staffer of Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital (NAUTH) Nnewi, Anambra State, (Names withheld) has contacted covid 19.
The patient who was said to be admitted into the Accident and Emergency (A/E) unit for six days after she got involved in an accident is a cleaner in the hospital.
An impeccable source from the hospital said the patient showed some symptoms of Covid 19 and her sample was taken for test.
The result of the Covid 19 test conducted on her specimen was said to come out yesterday positive.
Our source said doctors, nurses and other staffers who had contact with the patient have been directed by the hospital management to embark on self isolation.
“We are worried, the staffers who were directed to go on self isolation are still seeing in the hospital premises and there has not been any concrete efforts from the management to trace all the people who had contact with the patient before her Covid 19 result status was released.” A staff who pleaded for anonymity said.
In his reaction to development, Dr Joseph Ugboaja CMAC/ Director, Clinical Services, Research and Training/ Chairman, Taskforce on Covid 19, said that the patient, a known cardiac disease patient was being managed initially for a cardiac problem, but had to be tested for Covid -19 , just so as not to leave anything to chance as her symptoms were basically related to her known cardiac problem.
Dr Ugboaja said her test result came out positive for Covid-19 yesterday and the management has done the needful according to standard guidelines and NCDC protocols. He noted that the patient has been moved to the Isolation center as space has become available; the staff members who have significant contact with the patient have proceeded on self Isolation and being followed up; the space occupied by the patient in the ward has been appropriately decontaminated; patient is receiving appropriate care at the Isolation center and the State epidemiology office has been informed.
“Note that this is neither the first time we are managing successfully, patient with Covid-19 nor asking our staff members to proceed on self isolation.
In fact, for the months of May, June and July, we’ve had 25 admissions in the Isolation Center and some of them were covid-19 positive. We have collected, transported and reported the result of about 150 samples collected from patients and their contacts. These are the efforts of the members of the Taskforce on covid-19 especially the Isolation unit staffers.
“As the pandemic is still raging, we will continue to receive and manage these cases. We can turn our back on them, even as our lives are put on the line. Its our call as healthcare workers. What we need is support in terms of the necessary Personal Protective Equipments especially the N-95 face masks, the PPE gowns and the hand gloves. The CMD, Prof Igwegbe AO has done marvelously well in ensuring the availability of PPEs and deserves a lot of commendation. But we are being overwhelmed by the pressure of number of cases presenting for management owing to the ongoing community spread.
“We want to use this opportunity to once again, appeal to public spirited individuals to come to our aid with donation of the PPEs. Otherwise, very soon we may not be able to assist our people who are affected by this virus. Currently, a standard PPE gown goes for between 7000- 12,000 naira while the N-95 sells for between 2,500 to 6,000 naira.
The last Covid-19 case we managed consumed about 200 pieces of both the gown and the N-95 face masks.
“We need assistance and we need it urgently as the infection rate is increasing in Anambra State (14 new cases reported today) and Nnewi has been noted as one of the flash points. Leaving this huge responsibility to the Teaching hospital is not sustainable and if we allow the hospital to get overwhelmed, then all of us are in trouble. So key stakeholders have to rise to the occasion now and donate materials to the hospital so that the healthcare workers(HCWs) will continue looking after the patients. We can’t afford to expose the HCWs unduly in their line of duty. They are already putting their lives online; we can’t afford to compromise their safety further.
CMAC NAUTH however said there is no cause for alarm. “All we need from the public is support in terms of the materials we need to work with, their prayers and good will as tackle this pandemic. The management and taskforce are doing their optimal best. What remains, is the complementary efforts from the stakeholders. We remain grateful to the State Government and the Anambra Progressives for their assistance so far.
“Finally, management remains appreciative of the gallant efforts of our front line staff who have continuously put their lives on the line just to ensure that every other person is protected. They deserve our commendation, appreciation and encouragement.” He concluded