The Medical Director, Olohun Osebi Hospital in Ilorin, Tiamiyu Idowu, has urged Federal Government to establish Emergency Medical Services (EMS) institutes, using funds donated in support of fight against COVID-19 in the country.
Idowu, who is a trauma and critical care specialist, said this in a statement which was made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday.
He said that lack of qualified EMS personnel specially trained in respiratory support management was responsible for the death of many COVID-19 patients in the country.
The medical expert said that health challenges such as coronavirus, which primarily attacks the respiratory system, were highly virulent and mostly fatal to the body.
”It is quite unfortunate that the whole world is facing a health challenge that has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives because of its pathological effect on human beings with focus on human respiratory system
”Unlike HIV/AIDS which is systemic at initial phase, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, has a short incubation period and highly virulent with respiratory focus,” he said.
Idowu noted that with N250 million, the Federal Government could establish a standard training institution with international accreditation, using part of the funds donated to fight COVID-19.
”In the alternative, professionals in the EMS health sector are ready to set up the institute with support in form of grant or soft loans since government alone cannot do everything,” the EMS expert said.
The medical expert described critical and trauma care as the “hallmark or heart of any functional health system which determines whether a patient will survive or pass on.
”The gateway to any hospital in terms of urgency is the emergency unit, as the outcome of any patient, irrespective of the condition or health challenges, depend on the quality of its EMS personnel.
”The primary focus of managing respiratory illnesses such as Corona virus is air way support management first before other diagnostic care.
”The majority of deaths recorded in Nigeria during COVID-19 was as a result of low level of care and availability of qualified EMS personnel to provide air way management support to those that tested positive.
“And lack of training institution to train these critical health workers hands on with EMS skills and continuous professional education in trauma management and Basic Life Support (BLS) is a major challenge in Nigeria’s health system.
“Even if you are a professor of medicine and you are not trained on BLS skill, you may not be able to resuscitate your patient safely.
“These are basic knowledge and skill that determine patients’ diagnosis and survival in any acute settings,” Idowu said.
He, therefore, appealed to benevolent individuals and corporate bodies to join hands with experts to invest in setting up standard EMS institutes in the country.
He said professionals in EMS were ready to make available their expertise by partnering with government, well meaning individuals and organisations in setting up the EMS institutes.
“We need this institution as a matter of urgency to alleviate the chronic shortage of manpower in health field in our country.
“We also call on wealthy Nigerian individuals and corporates to help us with flexible grant or loan to pay over period of years.
“Our heart is bleeding as we know not who may be the next victim of any health challenge like COVID-19 that may require critical EMS care,” Idowu said. (NAN)