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How OOUTH ‘management insensitivity’ exposed 20 laboratory staff to COVID-19

OOUTH gate

By James Ogunnaike – Abeokuta

No fewer than 20 medical laboratory staff of Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital (OOUTH), Sagamu, Ogun State have tested positive for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Another family of four was reported to have also contracted coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The family of four was said to have contracted the viral disease from their father who happened to be one of the staff working in the hospital’s main laboratory.

This incident was said to have caused great confusion in the teaching hospital while those confirmed to be having the virus have been told to proceed on self-isolation.

One of the staff of the hospital who spoke to Vanguard correspondent on the condition of anonymity heaped the blame of the incident on the insensitivity of the management of the hospital to the plight of the medical laboratory staff dealing with COVID-19 patients

He said “the OOUTH management under Dr Peter Adefuye should be blamed for whatever happened to the laboratory staff because of their refusal to provide us with sufficient Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that we needed to have as health workers having direct dealing with the samples of COVID-19 patients”

“When they started bringing the samples of COVID-19 patients to us last month, the Director of Medical Laboratory Services Department wrote letter to the management demanding for those things to be put in place so that in the course of caring for others, we will also not be jeopardising our lives but the management did nothing”.

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“They are always quick to say there is no money, yet we know that we are generating money for the government”

“The management of the hospital were equally told to get a separate laboratory for COVID-19 test just as it was done during the time of Ebola but this they also turned down.

Vanguard also gathered that the Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria (AMLSN) OOUTH chapter has equally written letters to the management of the hospital twice demanding the discontinued processing of COVID-19 samples at the main laboratory because of its attendant risk, setting up of a different lab for COVID-19 test and ensure that the lab workers were provided with sufficient personal protective kits.

The Chief Medical Director of the hospital, Dr Peter Adefuye reportedly did nothing on the concerns of the lab workers as expressed in the two letters.

It was alleged that he told them that  “if they like, they can join the resident doctors of the hospital who have been on strike for about two months now”.

When contacted on phone, Dr Adefuye said, “I don’t talk to faceless people. If you need any reaction, go and take permission from the Ministry of Health. After all, we are at the community transmission stage of the pandemic.”

On her part, the State Commissioner for Health, Dr Tomi Coker said she has not received any report of such in her office.

Vanguard News Nigeria.

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