COVID-19 second wave: CMD appeals to resident doctors not to shut down  hospital

From Esther Akaa, Lafia

The Chief Medical Director (CMD), Dalhatu Araf Specialist Hospital (DASH) Lafia, Dr Ikrama Hassan  has appealed to the Association of Resident Doctors to dialogue with the management of DASH on their position to close down the hospital in the midst of the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr Hassan made the appeal recently in Lafia, while reacting to the call by the association to downscale service delivery in all the departments of the hospital, due to the rise in the  infection of health workers with COVID-19.

He said that the second wave of the pandemic, which is more infectious needed concerted effort to tackle, by both medical personnel and the general public, adding that option of closing down the hospital would   rather result in high mortality rate in the state.

The CMD, however, debunked allegations by the association that about 35 doctors were tested positive for COVID-19, saying only 15 doctors, out of 139 in the hospital tested positive to the virus.

“All we are saying is that let us sit down and talk things out, if three persons happen to test positive in a particular department, what is the justification for closing down other departments that have no single person tested positive,” he added.

According to him, it was the responsibility of the management of the hospital to protect its staff by providing all the necessary tools for them to work, as well as ensuring that they are protected.

He also added that since Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) have been provided by the hospital, the closure of service delivery by Resident Doctors in the midst of the second wave of the pandemic had no rationale and scientific basis, therefore, is unacceptable.

“We have asked the clinics not to allow patients to come at the same time, if for instance you want to attend to 40 patients in a day, you will ask 10 persons to come at a particular hour, and another 10 persons to come at another hour with their face masks on.

“All these are way of maintaining physical distancing that gears towards protecting the patients and the workers in the hospital.

“Our responsibility as management of the hospital is to first and foremost, ensure that all our staff are protected in the course of discharging their duties.

“My call is for us to have a milk of human sympathy, we have adequate Personal Protective Equipment, adequate face masks for all our staff, we make provision for clothes face masks for all our patients’ relations and hand wash stands at strategic points within the hospital,” the CMD stated.

It was reported in some quarters that   the Association of Resident Doctors in Nasarawa State had in a press conference held last Thursday in Lafia, called for downscaling of services in all the departments, due to high rate of infection among health workers in the facility.

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