• Wednesday, May 22, 2024
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FG commissions infectious disease centre in FCT


The federal government on Friday commissioned the first Infectious Disease Centre (IDC) in the Federal Capital Territory and handed over same to the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital (UATH).

During the early outbreak of the COVID-19, pandemic in the country, the centre was still under construction and government set up a temporary isolation centre in the same vicinity to manage COVID-19 cases.

Osagie Ehanire, who commissioned the 40-bed centre in Gwagwalada, Abuja, said the establishment of the purpose-built infectious disease treatment centre will go a long way towards improving Nigeria’s capacity to respond to all infectious diseases.

“With laboratory testing and case management in one location, there is much shorter time between sample collection and infection confirmation, which ensures early initiation of treatment and thus mitigate mortality during infectious disease outbreaks’, he said.

“I am very proud that today, we now have an international standard centre where we can manage highly pathogenic infectious disease cases, including critical medical and laboratory equipment”, he said.

Ehanire informed that the model will be replicated across the 36 states to ensure the country is better prepared for infectious disease outbreaks.

The minister also commissioned two other facilities in this hospital to include: the Accident and Emergency Unit which is a 32-bed Unit with an intensive care unit (ICU), radiology suite, dialysis unit, fully equipped dedicated operating theatre and oxygen supply; and the Cardiology Unit with a full complement of facilities for non-invasive procedures including a 4D echocardiograph.

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He also laid the foundation stone for the Mental Health Block , a 76-bed block which, when completed, will have facilities for specialised therapies; an emergency area; consulting, psychotherapy and seminar rooms; and a pharmacy.

The Director General, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Chikwe Ihekweazu, said the project commenced in 2019 following the the outbreak of the lassa fever in 2018 and the urgent need for a centre to mange infectious diseases.

In addition to managing viral hemorrhagic fevers such as Lassa fever, Ihekweazu said the Centre is designated for the management of cases of other infectious diseases including COVID-19 in the FCT.

He informed that the treatment centre also has a molecular laboratory for the prompt diagnosis of diseases.

Given the strategic positon FCT holds as Nigeria’s capital, the DG said it was even more important to establish a treatment centre in abuja to improve health security, while noting that the pandemic has shown that no investment in the health sector is too small.

Ihekweazu reinforced the need for multi-sectoral collaboration to ensure the sustainability the project.