By Martins Ifijeh
Following complaints by some COVID-19 patients at the Infectious Disease Centre in Yaba that they are not being attended to as expected, the Commissioner for Health, Lagos State, Prof. Akin Abayomi, said it was not out of place for patients to get upset at the beginning of their isolation process as it was a new journey for them.
Abayomi, who stated this during the inspection of a 120-bed space isolation centre at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi-Araba Tuesday, said isolation wards were not normal wards where patients were allowed to interact with persons who are not infected.
He said: “When COVID-19 patients come into isolation wards, it usually takes one to two days before they get used to the operations at the centre.
“In normal wards, people will come greet you; healthcare providers will come check your blood pressure as often as possible, among others. But in an isolation ward, every time a doctor or nurse comes in there, he or she wears a N70, 000 outfit which can only be worn once.
“The healthcare providers will only come into the ward two, three or four times a day. A patient in that ward might be confused for the first day or two until they get accustomed to the fact they will not see their healthcare provider as often as in normal wards. There is a reason it is called isolation centre. But what is most important is that the patients are given qualitative care at any given time.”
He said he does not blame the husband of one of the patients who complained in a viral video, adding that it was usually expected within the first few days of commencing treatment at the centre.
He also noted that few days after admission, patients usually get comfortable with the isolation process, adding that every intervention they need are often provided within the period of the isolation.
On the 120-bed isolation centre at LUTH, he said he was pleased with the facility, adding that it contains most of the things needed for treatment of COVID-19 patients.
“If we eventually get a surge in the number of COVID-19 cases, the centre in LUTH, Onikan, Yaba, Gbagada, and other places will come in handy. That is why we are preparing these centres beforehand,” he added.
On his part, the Chief Medical Director, LUTH, Prof. Chris Bode, said the right staff had been trained on how to manage COVID-19 patients and that the hospital was ready whenever the state brings in patients.
“This is a first class isolation centre. We are glad for the support the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) also made. They gave us 60 beds. LUTH will support the state and the federal government in curbing the public health challenge,” he said.