The University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital ( UMTH) has dismissed report making round that it mismanaged a Covid-19 patient, describing the allegation as an attempt to damage it reputation as Centre of excellence for Infectious diseases.
The hospital in a statement signed by the Head of Department, Information and Public Relations, Mrs Justina Anaso, said the hospital was compelled to speak out to contain the attempt to drag its good reputation at this critical time into disrepute.
“In our view, if they are allowed to pass, they have a potential to overshadow our enormous goodwill and open-door policy, and impede our role in the ongoing campaign against COVID-19 in Borno State, and the nation at large.
“As a tertiary health institution we have never closed our door to any disease condition and so the need to put the record straight on this particular patient, to correct any misinformation about this noble health facility.
“The patient was brought into the hospital on 1st of May 2020 in the morning hours by his relatives. The fact that the patient was previously managed for diabetes and hypertension in the hospital, does not exclude him from being triaged, because every patient that comes to the hospital is triaged whether old or new patient.
“Therefore the patient was received at the hospital triage area and a quick assessment of his condition fits into the case definition of COVID-19 to rule out complications of other underlying medical conditions (co- morbidity).
“The patient was directed thereafter, to be taken to suspected COVID-19 assessment area for full clinical assessment and for sample collection.”
She explained that no patient is admitted into the hospital isolation centre without testing positive, a development that delayed the admission of the said the patient.
“However, instead of cooperating with the Hospital’s directives, the relations took the patient away, only to return him in a more severe condition in the night of the same day.
“Despite this development, and in line with medical ethics and the tradition of the hospital not to turn any patient away, the patient was received, admitted, assessed and appropriate case management processes initiated, pending sample collection the following day.
“Meanwhile the Borno State COVID-19 surveillance Team was alerted of the suspected case and the patient’s spouse and relatives were well informed about the condition of the patient, as required by protocol. Unfortunately the patient died at the early hours of 2nd May 2020.”
Anaso explained that the non released of the deceased corpse to his relations for burial was done in compliance NCDC protocol.
She said the corpse was given to the Borno State Burial team who handled the process.
“It should be noted that management of COVID-19 victims is the responsibility of the State Burial Team.
“In view of the above facts, we call on members of the general public to discountenance the misleading and malicious claims which are deliberately calculated to tarnish the good reputation of the hospital and distract it from discharging its responsibility to all Nigerians.
“As a Federal Government-owned Tertiary Health Institution, the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital will continue to provide high quality healthcare care services, in line with our mandate and clearly defined standards and procedures,” Anaso said.
She also denied media report that the hospital tendered apology to an a patient alleged to be on the run.
“We wish to clarify that, while the Hospital does not have any record of a fleeing COVID – 19 – Tested – positive- patient in its facility, it had never declared that any patient had fled its facility, as claimed by the report.
“Therefore, the claim that officials of the Hospital had tendered an apology to such a patient is not only baseless but also totally false, fake and maliciously published to malign the UMTH Management and its staff who are putting their lives on the line to serve humanity particularly the people of the State in these challenging times,” Anaso said.