Officials of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC); a representative of the World Health Organisation (WHO); Edo State Incident Manager for COVID-19, Dr. Andrew Obi; and Edo State Epidemiologist, Dr. Uwa Okhuarobo were in the hospital last week Friday February 12, 2021 to enlighten health workers on COVID-19 standard precautionary and safety protocols, as well as the reality of the second wave of the global pandemic. In a brief meeting, the NCDC response team led by Sebastian Yennau, informed the Medical Director that the training was a refresher course to appropriately enlighten health workers on the COVID-19 Infection Preventive Control (IPC) measures, owing to the increase of healthcare workers infection in Edo State, noting that they have observed that oftentimes after conducting training for people they are expected to impact others, but some of them go back and forget the essence of such training. They however, commended Management and the staff of the hospital in general for the level of compliance with the use of facemask and hand-washing, describing it as encouraging when compared with some other facilities they have visited. The Medical Director expressed appreciation to the team, noting that the training will definitely have a positive impact on the healthcare workers and also help to rekindle their previous knowledge of the pandemic precautionary measures. Addressing the participants which include: Doctors, Nurses, Pharmacists, Medical Laboratory Scientists, Psychologists, Social Welfare Officers, Health Record Officers, Occupational Therapists, Administrative Officers, Clerical Officers, and Health Attendants, among others, one of the NCDC officials stated that though she is aware that the hospital’s healthcare workforce have received some form of training on IPC measures before, but that they came owing to the increase of healthcare workers infection across the state and the hospital in particular. In his lecture, entitled the “Understanding the Chain of Transmission of Infection”, Dr. Biodun Ogunniyi who was the IPC resource person said that the training goes beyond the COVID-19 pandemic to include any other kind of infections. He stated that, “if we know how infections are transmitted, then it will be easy to break the chain of transmission’. According to him, infections are developed through infectious agents, susceptible host as well as the ideal environment for it to strive. The sources of the disease include: inhalation of droplets expelled from infected persons, contact with patients’ respiratory secretions, or through hands contact with contaminated surfaces. He therefore advocated treatment for infected patients, and IPC measures such as: the use of facemask, regular hand washing with soap and water or alcoholic based sanitizers, wearing protective clothing and the maintenance of social distancing, etc. Speaking at the event, Dr. Obi, on behalf of the Edo State Government, appreciated the healthcare workers for their good works, courage, tenacity and doggedness, stating that healthcare workers across the state are at the frontline and that without them the COVID-19 pandemic cannot be contained. He noted, “I am aware of the rising number of healthcare workers infections in this establishment which is a source of concern, but we believe strongly that with the help of this very robust scheme from the National, and State IPC focused personnel, we will bring down the number of healthcare workers infection in Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Benin City”. He thereafter, encouraged the participants to take advantage of the lecture and assured the hospital of the continuous support from the state, adding that the hospital is very strategic in that, it is one of its main sample collection points in Egor Local Government Area. “The hospital also support the state in providing psycho-social and psychiatric care and support for our COVID-19 patients, especially those at Stella Obasanjo Hospital Isolation Centre”, he added. On his part, the State Epidemiologist Dr. Uwa Okhuarobo, who also doubles as the Deputy Incident Manager gave the COVID-19 update report in Nigeria, as well as Edo State, stating that the pandemic has taken another dimension due to its second wave. According to him, Nigeria currently has over 1.3 million suspected cases, with over 140,000 confirmed cases; while active cases is 23,794 with 118,000.00 recoveries and 1,710 deaths. Edo State has 795 active cases, 4,161 confirmed cases, discharge cases is 3,417 representing (3.6%) with 149 fatalities. He added that the figures were not cooked up as some healthcare workers believe otherwise. The WHO representative, who was simply introduced as Madam Grace Ireotor, spoke on the importance of ‘Screening, Identification and Notification’ (SIN) of the deadly Corona-virus, enjoined the healthcare workers to change the narrative after the training by doing things differently to break the chain of transmission of the pandemic.
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