The Director General of Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu has assured the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital (NAUTH), Anambra State that the agency is commtted to partnership with the health institution to have a befitting isolation and treatment center.
Dr Ihekweazu gave the assurance during a familiarization visit to the permanent site of the NAUTH, Thursday, where the construction of a standard isolation center is ongoing as a measure to contain all manner of infectious diseases including Coronavirus pandemic when completed. He said the isolation and treatment center was meant for the present and future cases of infectious diseases.
He said he was impressed with the progress of work so far of the project under construction, adding that he encouraged everyone to accelerate efforts for the center to be ready as soon as possible.
“We are committed to completing this center and we are committed to equipping it. Critically, we are commtted to a partnership with the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital to build skills, building, capacity of their staff and make sure this place is well positioned to play that important role it has to play for Anambra State and be a center of excellence for all patients, especially those with infectious diseases, ” the NCDC DG said.
He explained that as part of response to Covid-19 pandemic in Nigeria, the NCDC was supporting every State in the country “especially federal teaching hospitals in the States to scale up their capacity to manage the disease.”
He told the audience that vaccination would start in Anambra in the next few days beginning with healthcare workers. He described the vaccine as an incredible opportunity to control the pandemic and encouraged everyone to receive it without double mind. He said he had been vaccinated and there was nothing to fear about it.
In his response, the Acting Chief Medical Director (CMD) of NAUTH, Dr Joseph Ugboaja described the NCDC DG’s visit as strategic and significant to the health institution in terms of boosting its capacity and morale in the fight against Covid-19 pandemic.
He noted that the response to the pandemic in Nigeria had been massive, well coordinated and yielding the desired result, “all thanks to the visionary and effective leadership of the NCDC DG.”
“Your initiative of health system strengthening via training of staff, building of infrastructure and provision of the needed consumables has been outstanding and unprecedented. We have never had it this good.
“In NAUTH, we are doing our best in the fight against the pandemic. We have a taskforce in place, a treatment center and a committed and trained workforce. We admit and manage both suspected and confirmed cases. We have managed over 300 patients with 14 mortalities. Our team also undertakes home care, public sensitization and training for healthcare workers. Our challenge has been the limited capacity of the isolation center and lack of dedicated ambulances, ” Dr Ugboaja said.
He expressed gratitude to the NCDC DG for the construction and equipment of a “standard” isolation and treatment center at the permanent site as well as his numerous aids to NAUTH.
Ugboaja told the visiting DG that the hospital had commenced phased movement to the permanent site. He said that obviously would require massive infrastructural acquisition and development.
He explained that the NAUTH had planned to build a regional center for infectious diseases, research and training to boost the capacity of the West African sub-region in research and training in infectious diseases as he praised the DG for showing a shining example in Africa.