By Donald Iorchir
University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada, Abuja, has set up monitoring units and placed several critical staff on standby to scrutinise patients coming to the hospital “who may be carrying the Monkey virus or any other infectious disease to ensure prompt tracking, reporting and management of such cases to avoid likely spread of the disease.”
Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the hospital, Prof. Bisalah Ahmed, who disclosed this in Gwagwalada yesterday, said “primary health workers, especially nurses at the emergency wards, who are the first contact with members of the public, must be on the alert to promptly notify the authorities of any patient showing signs of infectious diseases such as monkey virus, Lassa fever or any other severe communicable diseases for quick intervention actions.”
Ahmed, who spoke at the opening of a retreat and 6th National Conference of the Emergency Nurses Association of Nigeria (ENAN), charged emergency care nurses and other health workers to be “friendly to patients and alert to their responsibilities of reporting unusual cases of infectious diseases to the authorities for prompt intervention actions to mitigate the suffering of the patient and check the spread of the diseases.”
The CMD, who was represented by the chairman, Medical Advisory Council (MAC)of the hospital, Dr. Nicholas Bamlong, said the “teaching hospital cannot be taken unawares by the presence of any patient with monkey virus, Lassa fever or any other severe communicable diseases since the authorities have put in place monitoring and reporting systems that would be activated as soon as such a patient comes into the hospital.”
He assured the public not to panic over monkey virus, Lassa fever or any other severe communicable diseases, saying “there are sufficient facilities and medication to effectively manage the diseases.”
Ahmed harped on the need for nurses at the emergency wards, “who are the first contact with members of the public,” to be proactive in handling sensitive infectious diseases to avoid infection.
“Nurses are the closest to members of the public and those that work at the emergency ward are the first contact with the people who come to the hospital. We expect high performance from them and cooperation with other health workers for success of the hospital,” he said.