By Ummul Idris
Prof. Saad Ahmed, the Medical Director, Federal Medical Centre, Abuja, says the hospital is putting in place necessary facilities and logistics to commence the admission and treatment of COVID-19 patients soonest.
Ahmed disclised this to newsmen during the foundation laying ceremony of the construction of the hospital’s administrative block on Wednesday in Abuja.
He said that while the hospital has well trained staff to manage the virus, it needed to put those facilities and logistics in place.
“We already have 40 beds negative pressure facility that has been commissioned. We are putting on few logistics, which will come up soon and we will start admitting COVID-19 patients.
“We have well trained staff, of course we need to have more, but we will make use of the ones that we already have and deploy more facilities to take care of the situation,” he said.
When asked what the hospital was doing to ensure that regular patients were not denied service due to fear of COVID-19, Ahmed said though at the initial period there was fear of the virus, the hospital never turned back any patient.
“Our services are going on fully. Once we have suspected case, we immediately take him or her to our holding area, where test is being carried out.
“Lately the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has supplied us with rapid test kits, to run tests and get result within 15 minutes during emergency,“ he said.
On the foundation laying ceremony for the new building, Ahmed said that the construction of the new administrative block was imperative to free up space for clinical services, with the emergence of COVID-19 and infectious diseases.
He said while the clinical staff were more knowledgeable in infectious diseases, the administrative staff, were not so trained in that, hence the need to move them to a place where they could function appropriately.
“This project will also lead to the expansion of clinical services in this great institution. As of now, we have a lot of offices in the clinical services blocks being occupied by administrative staff.
“Having this administrative block will help us move them out so that we can have more space to carry out our clinical services and for the clinic facility to serve its purpose in much better capacity,” Ahmed said.
The medical director disclosed that the hospital was also witnessing other expansions to offer more specialised services, including a dialysis centre recently commissioned and kidney transplant, among others.
“Within a short period of time we are also going to have polyclinic, ward expansion and a new private wing which will soon come on board.
“A Polyclinic is a clinic or healthcare facility that provides both general and specialist examinations and treatments for a wide variety of diseases and injuries, to outpatients and is usually independent of a hospital.
The Board Chairman of the hospital, Dr Alex Ideh, said that the project was conceived about two and half years ago, when the board was set up.
Ideh said there was need to have a proper administrative block as some of the existing offices were too small to accommodate the staff of the hospital, adding that currently, he had no office in the hospital.
“So there was a need to have proper administrative block that will house members of the engine room, that make this hospital function. All those who give support to the professional medical staff here.
“By so doing you would have given the doctors, nurses, technicians, pharmacists who are hanging on each other, enough space to do their work,” he said.
He expressed satisfaction that the hospital was growing, disclosing that a few weeks back, a mobile clinic was commissioned in the hospital.
“We have the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) in the hospital, which is being renovated, and re-equipped to make it more functional.
“Very soon we will be here again to commission that building. Just as you know the contract for molecular laboratory has been awarded.”
Mr Kayode Oyawole, the Lead Consultant of Xmatrix 369 LTD for the project, said that the administrative block would have 60 offices, a multipurpose hall and other facilities with conducive environment.
Oyawole said there was provision for fire safety and easy access for the physically challenged persons, with other modern mechanical and electrical facilities.