UCH Trains 200 Staff to Tackle Coronavirus

Olanrewaju Suraju

* Records suspected case of epidemic

Kemi Olaitan in Ibadan

The Chief Medical Director ( CMD) of the University College Hospital ( UCH), Prof. Jesse Abiodun Otegbayo, yesterday said the hospital has begun the training of no fewer than 200 personnel of the hospital on best methods to curtail the spread of Coronavirus.

He also said presently there was a suspected case of Coronavirus on admission in the hospital, though not yet confirmed.

The CMD while speaking with journalists as part of the activities marking his one year in office, said the teaching hospital has been on the red alert since the outbreak of Coronavirus was reported.

According to him, “On Friday, I signed about 200 certificates of training. We are training our staff in batches on how to curtail the infection and on what Coronavirus is about. If you go to any of our clinics, you will see one of our personnel using infra-red thermometer to scan people’s heads to take their temperature.

“We have two standing committees on the virus – we have the UCH Emergency Response Committee and an Infection Control Committee. These committees have been on beat since we heard about this outbreak. In fact, they have been very busy because we had a suspected case (of Coronavirus) on admission. We have an isolation ward as you enter through the main gate of UCH to the right.

“Also, we have generated so much awareness. As you enter the hospital, you will see some posters as well as within the hospital. The committees have been going round to enlighten people.

“If your temperature is found to be higher than normal, without any explanation – because it is not only Coronavirus that causes fever – you will be separated and tested for the virus if you cannot find any other explanation. If we are to be testing everybody with fever in the hospital, we would probably be testing all our incoming patients.”

On the preparedness of the hospital, the CMD said, “ at the entrances of the wards at UCH, buckets of water, soaps and alcohol based hand sanitizers are available for washing. About a week ago, the head of pharmacy was directed to ensure that all the cans for the hand sanitizers in the hospital were filled. Today, as part of the programme, we have a hospital-wide round”.

Otegbayo, who disclosed that power and water supplies were the main challenges confronting the hospital, said UCH had done so much in terms of awareness and training against the outbreak of the virus.

The hospital also indicated that it currently runs no fewer than 75 power generating sets in order to maintain seamless services across different range of services.

On IGR, the CMD said, “On the average, we generate N200millon monthly. That should not be looked at in isolation. You will ask how much we spend also on diesel, buying and repairing generators and meeting other needs. I want to say this amount is still not enough. Fortunately, we have people of goodwill who make donations to supplement what we are generating.

“The topmost challenge, for us, is power. This is hospital environment; you cannot over-emphasize the need for regular power supply. Imagine if a patient is being operated and power goes off. A lot of things can go wrong. If you ask me, power is the number one. Then, number two is power and number three is light. Number four will now be water.

“Our intention is to provide equipment for the diagnosis of diseases that are endemic in Nigeria and to bring back our cardiac programme which had been in lieu for quite a while. We also intend to ensure that the kidney transplant that was done last week becomes sustainable.”