“We have no official data on the number of contagions in Enugu, but cases are certainly on the rise here in the hospital and the most affected are the health workers“. This is stated by Ito Diejomaoh, Director of the Niger Foundation Hospital, established in 1990 to provide quality health care to the population most in need in Enugu, capital of the state of the same name (formerly Biafra, Nigeria).
Nigeria is unprepared to deal with the health emergency: the country is short of personal protective equipment, rapid swab testing mechanisms are insufficient and the economic collapse is compounded by the sharp fall in oil prices.
“Private hospitals are not equipped to treat positive patients; all suspicious cases must be reported to a State Department“. In addition, the hot season is conducive to the spread of prevalent diseases such as cholera, typhoid, meningitis and measles but “Many hospitals have closed for fear of Covid-19 infections because they are not sufficiently equipped“.
The emergency department of Niger Hospital is also under pressure: with the spread of Covid-19, the number of sick health workers increases “There are no surgical masks, gloves, disposable gowns, respirators and the hospital does not have ventilators“. Ensuring the protection of medical staff is a necessary condition to combat the spread of the Virus.
“We too have been tempted to close down; then we asked ourselves: what would happen to our patients if we did that? It is a responsibility that we feel too strongly and the response from all the staff was unanimous: let’s move on! But we need help to stop the spread and prevent the country from turning into an incubator; in that case, it would be a disaster for everyone“.
Listen to Dr. Diejomaoh’s testimony
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