A total of 15 patients have tested positive for COVID-19 out of the 152 samples sent for diagnosis by the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital (NAUTH), Nnewi in Anambra.
The Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the hospital, Prof. Anthony Igwegbe, stated this on Monday when he received medical items, including personal protective equipment (PPE), donated by a group, 100 Igbos US Inc.
Igwegbe said that a member of staff of the hospital was among those who had contracted the virus and was currently receiving treatment at the hospital’s isolation centre, adding that the person would soon be discharged.
“The patient, a cleaner in the hospital, is responding very well to treatment and will soon be discharged,” he said.
The CMD expressed delight that the testing centres approved for the state had reduced movement of samples and the waiting time at Irrua Specialist Hospital Centre in Edo.
According to him, a person can now get his/her test within 48 hours, adding that this would help in diagnosis and management of the cases.
He, however, identified lack of consumables and isolation facilities as the major challenges still facing the hospital in the fight against COVID-19.
Igwegbe said that the donation by the group of Igbo professionals resident in the United States, would go a long way in solving part of the challenges of consumables at the moment.
“We are happy that these materials from our brothers came at the nick of time when we have exhausted the PPE and the face masks that we have.
“You will recall that we have been having cases of COVID-19 here, and each case you manage, we spend a lot of PPE. That is the only problem we encounter in the management of COVID-19 in the hospital,” he said.
Presenting the items, the President of the group, Mr Ejikeme Obasi, said that his organisation had the plan of making similar donations to all tertiary health institutions across the South-Eas zonet and Asaba, Delta capital.
Obasi, who was represented by Prof. Stanley Anyanwu, expressed concern that patients coming to hospitals in the region were often abandoned or sent away, due to absence of PPE.
He said that the donation of the items was aimed at ameliorating the problems faced by health providers in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic.
The president urged health facilities in the South-East zone to develop standard operating procedures to ensure that patients were properly screened and that no patient was sent away without being given attention.
Chairman, Medical Advisory Committee (CMAC) of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital (NAUTH), Nnewi, Anambra State, Dr. Joe Ugboaja, has said that the carefree attitude of Nigerians is responsible for the increasing cases of coronavirus in the country.
Ugboaja, who is Director of Clinical Services, Research and Training, as well as Chairman, COVID-19 Task Force of the hospital, stated this at the weekend while fielding questions from newsmen at Nnewi on activities of the Task Force.
He urged Nigerians to take the fight against the virus more seriously, saying the call became necessary in view of the rising number of cases as a result of the ongoing community spread.
He recommended stricter compliance with the COVID-19 preventive measures, especially the use of face masks and maintaining physical distancing among members of the public.
“It is unfortunate and worrisome that even in the face of escalating infections, most people still go about their businesses as if nothing is happening. Time has come for everybody to take responsibility for containing the spread of the virus. This is the only way we can arrest it and flatten the curve.
“The ‘I don’t care’ attitude of members of the public is largely responsible for the increasing number of cases being presented at the hospital for management,” Ugboaja noted.
He warned that if nothing was urgently done to reverse the trend, the hospital would soon be overwhelmed with cases of COVID-19 and would be unable to help going forward.
The reported 12 deaths and 101 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Anambra state in the latest update of statistics released by the Nigerian Centre for Diseases Control (NCDC) have taken the state to the drawing board, as governor Willie Obiano has mapped out strategies to meet the target of 4,425 tests per week or 115, 974 tests for the state from July to December this year.
To meet this national average target set by the Nigerian Centre for Diseases Control (NCDC), the government plans to appropriate the best out of the successfully established major testing facility at Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu Teaching Hospital, Amaku, Awka, in addition to deployment of considerable number of specialists to collect samples from the populace.
Governor Obiano, had, in a state-wide broadcast said, “However, our efforts will be in vain without the cooperation of our people. It may be interesting to note that from the testing expectations distributed to every state of the federation by the NCDC, Anambra State is expected to have done a total of 115, 974 tests in the next six months.
“Details of the figure shows that Anambra must do a total of 4,425 tests per week to meet the national average. Ndi Anambra, with our new molecular lab, we can surpass that figure. But we must work together to surpass it. That is why I am appealing to all the traditional rulers and all the leaders of the church as well opinion leaders to assist the state in creating more awareness on the need for people to go for tests.
He further announced that the state has conducted 590 tests out of 618 samples, and expressed happiness that a total of 77 people have successfully recovered from Covid-19 through a careful management by the special Covid-19 medical team.
Obiano while calling for effective compliance to guidelines, early testing and treatment, said, “Ndi Anambra, the experience we have gained from managing the pandemic shows that early case detection and management play a major role in patients’ survival of Covid-19. Available data shows that all the patients who submitted to our call for early testing and treatment by our team survived the pandemic.
“This capacity building is timely and has empowered us to effectively respond to COVID-19”, said Ms Ifediata Adaora, a Medical Laboratory Scientist and one of the beneficiaries of the two-day training on Covid-19 on sample management organized by the World Health Organization (WHO) in collaboration with the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC).
Ms Adaora added that “it was quite an educative training, which left us better informed on facts about the Covid-19 infection, how to prevent infection through proper use of personal protective equipment, sample collection, packaging and transport. This will boost the States’ capacity for active case search and sample collection thereby dictating more cases which will help in curbing the pandemic.”
Notwithstanding restrictions put in place by both the state and federal Government, cases of COVID-19 in Anambra state remain on the increase. Based on the Presidential Task Force’s recommendation of decentralization of the response to the states for sustainability and improved coordination, the Anambra state government has created roving Rapid Response Teams (RRT) who operate as semi Emergency Operation Centers (EOC) at various Local Government Areas (LGAs). These teams are involved in active case search at the community level to find more patients. To support the active case search, WHO supported Anambra State and trained 42 personnel from 21 LGAs, which included laboratory scientists/technicians and scientific officers to intensify the response and provide the support needed in increasing sample collection across all LGAs.
The facilitators were trained on how to correctly collect, package, and transport COVID-19 samples in the state. Before the hands-on training, virtual training on COVID-19 sample management was conducted in April 2020 with a few participants mainly from the State level.
The WHO State Anambra State Coordinator, Dr Igboekwu Chukwumuanya remarked, “WHO invested both human and financial resources in training 42 samples collectors across 21 LGAs of the state because it directly contributes to the realization of government’s goal of decentralizing the COVID-19 response to enable states and LGAs take ownership. WHO’s commitment is centered on supporting the government actualize the set targets.
Training sample collectors directly contributes to strengthening the laboratory component of the pandemic response is committed to supporting. Once fully strengthened, LGAs are expected to become the operational hub of the pandemic response, to guarantee long term sustainability of the response.” As of 07 July 2020, Nigeria has 37 functional COVID-19 test laboratories located in 36 States and the Federal Capital Territory
Anambra State has recorded four fresh cases of COVID-19, 24 hours after the Ministry of Health celebrated the discharge of all infected cases from its isolation centers.
The state has so far recorded 66 cases with four fresh active cases, 57 discharges, and nine deaths.
However, President of Lifecare Protection, Rehabilitation and Safety Organisation, Dr. Mmasinachi Umeh, commended its community transmission sensitization, which she said, contributed to more awareness about the COVID-19 pandemic.
Umeh lamented that from the onset, those who reside in rural areas did not believe that the pandemic was real, stressing that it required more enlightenment and enforcement by the task force and security operatives.
The former President of Women Wing of Christian Association of Nigeria (WOWICAN) in the South-East zone canvassed sanctions for clerics, who allegedly encourage their members to flout protocols and guidelines on prevention of the disease.
The Anambra State House of Assembly was on Tuesday forced to adjourn plenary for three weeks to allow fumigation of offices and surroundings of the assembly complex, as fear of Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic heightened in the state.
The resolution for a break was reached at an executive session and was announced by Speaker of the House, Uche Okafor, during plenary.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Anambra had recorded 69 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 51 recovered cases, and nine Coronavirus related deaths.
Governor Willie Obiano, had in a broadcast on June 11, said Awka South Local Government Area, where the Assembly Complex is situated, has the highest number of COVID-19 cases.
Okafor said: “We want the whole of the assembly complex to be fumigated.
“We all know that cases of COVID-19 are rising in the state and most of the cases are domicile in Awka South where we are staying.
“The leadership of the House met and agreed that all offices and surroundings of the complex should be fumigated to prevent incidences of COVID-19 in the House.
“And when we resume on July 14, we will strictly enforce the precautionary measures as stipulated in the COVID-19 Law that we passed.”
The speaker urged members to sensitize their constituents on the need to adhere to the stipulated precautionary measures to curb the spread of the disease in the state.
“COVID-19 is real; let us take the message home to our constituents. We need to wear our face masks regularly to protect ourselves and our loved ones,” Mr. Okafor said.