By Sam Kayode
The Chairman of the Board of the University of Maiduguri Teaching
Hospital UMTH Hadi Gumel has commended the federal government for
equipping a brand new covid 19 isolation center for the hospital.
The chair who commissioned the thirty-six bed center on Friday noted that it was a first class facility which he hoped will be useful to the entire region considering the fact that the deadly strain of Covid is already at the door steps of the country.
After commissioning the center, Gumel was taken through the entire center and the brand new molecular laboratory which is well equipped to do all the tests of potential patients.
Speaking with newsmen after touring the facility, the Chief Medical Director CMD Ahmed Ahidjo said he was equally grateful to the federal government of Nigeria knowing full well how the hospital has been operating amidst great stress of insurgency.
Ahijo said that indeed there are no new admitted cases in the facility for now because they are managed in other forms of isolation which is why “we do not need to have all of them admitted here anymore. Indeed, you can be positive and not be admitted to our facility, it all depends on the severity of the case on the patient.
“ We all knew how covid 19 came into the country and how it affected the world order. And I am sure most of you remember the lock down more than any other thing, coupled with the fear of the disease. As a result of that, every government should be concerned about its own citizens, anything that affects it at the level of pandemic especially at this time of the Global world. In preparation, the government will make sure that every patient that is affected is treated adequately, so as a result of that the federal government came up with covid 19
intervention programme. And mind you it is not for umth alone, it is for many teaching hospitals and federal medical centers across the country.
“The scope of the work is divided into four places, one of it is to ensure the isolation ward itself is well equipped, that is why you see inside the isolation center, there are a lot of beddings, infusion pumps, oxygen, concentrators, suction machines and monitors for all our patients, and so many other things, and the whole of the ward you
could see is renovated, and this is the first part.”
On patients with opportunistic problems, the CMD went on “The isolation unit ICU is a ten bedded facility that has ventilators and virtually everything that you need in managing severe covid 19 cases.
And also there are supportive facilities that we saw like the radiology machine, Xray, ultrasound and then the processors for the
x-ray films and dialysis machines for the challenges for the covid patients that may have renal failure. So, they will do their dialysis inside the covid 19 facility instead of going out.
“Another challenging thing there is the consumables. You may have all the equipment and facilities but if you don’t have consumables, it’s a problem. And the main consumables here are the PPE’s, protective clothing for the staff who would be involved in the management of the
covid, because they need to protect themselves.
Commenting on the long period in which covid 19m used to be diagnosed, the CMD had this to say “Remember those days that you have to wait two three days before getting the results on covid 19. And that was because of the paucity of the number of machines that can be used to diagnose the results of the diagnosis so we bought two new PCR machines and we have an additional one which means the center is now having three of such machines and all the supportive of backup facilities, so if one goes down, we can use the other one.”
On the new molecular laboratory commissioned by Gumel, supervisor of
the lab Dr kayode said the extraction of nasal swabs which used to take two to three hours can now be done in just five minutes
“The automated facility does it in minutes. Before, it was done manually and we were going through great stress to get it done, but now in less than fifteen minutes we had samples for everybody ready.”
On costs for the tests, he said it is subject to the prerogative of management in the near future but for now it’s free.
The molecular lab also handles DNA for HIV but its RNA we are doing for covid. We can also handle HIV viral load tests, HIV EID for children with HIV, We also have hepatitis B viral load PCR done in
that facility. Very soon we will start with hepatitis C infection load tests in the Molecular lab.