Health Watch

Ebola tests: FMC Owerri ready, says PRO By Ifeoma Ofurum

The Federal Medical Centre (FMC) Owerri, Imo State has stated that it has the capacity to test and detect anyone who has the Ebola virus disease (EVD).

The hospital’s acting lead of Public Relations Unit, Mrs Queen Nnadi, disclosed this to Christian Voice recently when our reporter visited the hospital to ascertain the readiness of the hospital in event of an outbreak in the state.

Imo State, however, is not listed as the Ebola affected states in the federation as no case of the disease has been recorded in the state.

Mrs Nnadi wondered why a public service announcement in the radio did not mention FMC as one of the hospitals that could detect the disease.

She, however, said that no isolation centre has been created in the hospital, besides the already existing isolation wards for tuberculosis and other contagious disease that covers the whole of South East.

According to her, the FMC would list and detect the patient and then refer patient to the isolation centres mentioned in the public service.

The hospital has established a unit to check people’s temperature and take precautions where necessary and the workers in the unit have been equipped with necessary wears and machines.

At the Imo Specialist Hospital Umuguma, the Medical Director declined comments on the hospital’s readiness but referred Christian Voice to the state ministry of health.

Rev. Chris Mejuru, who is in charge of St. Luke’s Referral Centre at Uzzi Mission Compound, said that they have taken precautions by placing disinfectants and water for visiting patients to wash their hands properly before being attended to.

They are also check for high fever.

Rev. Mejuru said that they cannot afford the test kits for the disease, adding that no case has been suspected at the centre.

He appealed to the government to make provisions for ambulances in readiness should they get calls through the help lines.

Meanwhile, reports have it that hospitals are turning away patients with high fever as medical personnel fear contracting the disease through untested patients.

At the Imo State University Teaching Hospital (IMSUTH), the Chief Medical Director was not seen for comments, but a medical worker at the hospital doubted that any test in Ebola could be carried out in the hospital.

Unconfirmed reports said that some patients with high fever had been tossed from one mentioned isolation surveillance centre to the other since the disease broke out in Nigeria. .

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