Panic As College Of Med Science Provost’s Death While Awaiting NCDC Test Result Unsettles Teaching Hospital Community

June 27, 2020
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*as CMD reveals Anambra has no Covid-19 test Centre yet

*samples trapped at Edo State for days as Anambra, Imo, Rivers, Bayelsa, Others elbow each other for attention

From Chuks Collins, Awka

The Chief Medical Director, (CMD)Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, Nnewi, Prof Anthony Igwegbe has bemoaned the absence of Covid-19 test centres in Anambra state.

Prof Igwegbe who was reacting to the sudden demise of the Provost, College of Health Sciences, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, Prof Okwudili Udemezue of complications related to diabetes and COVID-19 early Thursday, June 25,2020 noted that the continued absence of such test centres makes early diagnosis and management of Covid-19 cases delayed and difficult.

The CMD confirmed in exclusive interview in his office that Prof Udemezue was admitted on Sunday, June 21,2020 with presentation of Covid-19 symptoms and other related condition while his blood sample was sent for analysis the following day at the Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital in Edo state.

“Our Laboratory Scientist is still in Edo State waiting to collect the result, because Anambra State has no test Centre yet. It’s unfortunate that despite all our effort to save the Provost he died. The result is still being expected this weekend.

“The pressure on the Irrua test Centre -from Edo, Delta, Anambra Bayelsa, Imo, Abia, Rivers etc was overwhelming and the samples are trapped there for many days, resulting in dire consequences like in this case.

“Though the National Centre for Disease Control(NCDC)has approved Accunalysis Centre, a private establishment for Covid-19 tests but it has not been activated because the necessary Memorandum of Understanding  (MoU)to kick-start it has not been perfected by the State Government and the owners”, he noted.

When taken on the seeming snarl process of establishing more test centres nationwide, Prof Igwegbe said that the required machines, consumables and manpower are very expensive and sophisticated. That it’s reason only few of the specialized test centres were able to meet the stringent requirements and approved by the NCDC.

While urging for the adoption of more aggressive testing, isolating and treating of cases nationwide to stem the observed present spiking of cases, Igwegbe said that each of the thirty-six states in Nigeria should have at least one Centre by now. “We are not testing enough citizens yet…”, he added.

He dismissed the possibility of closing down the College of Health Sciences where the late Prof Udemezue held forth before his demise, if his result confirm eventually that it was Covid-19. But was to embark of contact tracing of all those family members, medical and non-medical staff, other patients/visitors who came in close contact with him without knowing his status

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