The Federal Government on Friday, 25th September, 2020, has commissioned and handed over the Infectious Disease Centre (IDC) in the Federal Capital Territory to the management of the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital (UATH), Gwagwalada.
The Honourable Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire who commissioned the facility, directed that it should be put to immediate use to allow for space management.
“COVID-19 has been a wakeup call for the health sector and we are living up to the challenge. However, we shall continue to sustain routine services in order to maintain the gains in health indices we have made so far. “I have therefore directed that this centre be put to immediate use so that the space currently being utilised for COVID-19 isolation and treatment, can be used for the purpose it was built”, he said.
The Minister informed that the project which commenced over a year ago, was part of the commitment of the Federal Government to providing the necessary infrastructure and resources for infectious disease management, through the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control. He added that the Centre was barely completed when the COVID-19 pandemic broke out. “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.
Further, Dr. Ehanire pointed out that the 40-bed facility will boost Nigeria's capacity to manage infectious diseases and respond to outbreaks in the country. According to him, “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.”
The Minister hinted that The Federal Government is in collaboration with State Governments to adopt the F.C.T IDC model, to ensure adequate preparedness to handle infectious disease outbreaks across the country.
Dr. Ehanire also commissioned one other facility at the UATH: 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.
The Honourable Minister of Health later laid the foundation for the Mental Health Block , a 76-bed block which, when completed, will have facilities for specialized therapies; an emergency area; consulting, psychotherapy and seminar rooms; and a pharmacy.
The Minister commended everyone who has been a part of the success story, particularly all the health workers who have sustained the response over the past 8 months. “You are true heroes”, he said.
By Blessing Egbo
Olujimi Oyetomi, Director, Information.