TOYIN ADEBAYO, ABUJA
The Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire has revealed that based on Health Team’s management of cases of COVID-19 , majority of patients do well with oxygen supplementation rather than ventilators, saying, “the ventilators have not come in so useful”.
Citing examples of “Lagos where we’ve seen out of every 400 cases, only 4 requires ventilators. So the percentage of those who require ventilators are not as high as what we feared in the beginning. A large number of persons will require oxygen supplementation, he said.
The Minister, therefore, advised that we invest in oxygen generators now as you invest also in ventilators, but don’t put all your hopes in ventilators.” “I understand that the Air Force has an Oxygen Plant in Yola, so you can supply yourself generously with oxygen.”
The Minister made this known, when he on Saturday lead the Federal Ministry of Health’s Team to inspect the 063 Nigeria Air Force COVID-19 Observation, Treatment Centre located at a side of the 063 NAF Hospital along the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport Road, Abuja.
In a press statement made available to newsmen by the Director, Information, Media & Public Relations , Mr Olujimi Oyetomi, yesterday in Abuja, stated that, the facility which is about 25-Bed COVID-19 Observation and Treatment Centre with a Small Operation Theatre (when that becomes necessary) and Sections to treat serious symptomatic COVID-19 cases, observation and treatment of mild and asymptomatic cases.
The Minister who was invited to inspect and possibly direct on further things necessary for the centre to be accredited, charged the 063 NAF COVID-19 Observation, Treatment Centre, said with COVID-19, not much was known about it initially. “But, we proceed by learning.
According to Ehanire, Several treatment drugs have been touted and trials reveal that many of them have not proved useful. A new one has come up now, we know it, we know its side effect, it is not something you buy off the shelf, you have to be extremely careful in its dispensing and uses. It’s only a Doctor that should prescribe it prescribe the exact dosage.”
Ehanire expressed gratitude to NAF who gave FMOH 30 Cylinders of Oxygen which have been deployed to the General Hospital, Asokoro, Abuja; but when NAF said they have more to give, he requested for some supplies to Lagos Mainland Hospital.
The Minister expressed satisfaction with what he saw at the 063 NAF Observation and Treatment Centre, Abuja directed the Accreditation Team to proceed with other things necessary and to note the facility to be added to the nation’s assets along with the Defence Reference Laboratory at Mogadishu Cantonment along Nyanya Road also in Abuja. The Lab, the Minister was told has already handled more than 560 samples.
On the future of national response to any health emergency post-COVID-19, Ehanire disclosed that even before COVID-19, his Ministry has been working on a national response that bring together a national emergency management response system.
This, he said is already built into the National Health Act whereby 5% of Basic Healthcare Provision Fund will form the seed money for medical emergency response. We realise that the private sector up to 60 – 70% of health services is delivered by the private sector, so we know that the private sector has to be included in this response system. We have a committee already working on this and it is headed by somebody from the private sector and the armed forces are members.