Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State has assured First Consultant Medical Centre of the support of his government towards mitigating the impact of the losses it incurred during the treatment of the index case of the Ebola virus disease and the attendant crisis that ensued.
The governor made the pledge when he led top officials of the state government on a visit to the hospital in Obalende, where the index case, American-Liberian, Mr Patrick Sawyer, was admitted before he died.
Fashola said the government would help in the replacement of equipment discarded in the process of decontamination and would provide other forms of support to help the hospital get back fully on its feet.
He commended the hospital for its sacrifice in the fight to contain the virus, saying the government was proposing a law designed to boost the capacity of health professionals and guarantee their safety at work.
Recall that four health workers who had contact with the late Sawyer in the hospital died while four others tested positive to the virus but were successfully treated in quarantine.
Consequently, the hospital was shut and decontaminated, leading to the discarding of equipment worth millions of naira.
Fashola said: “You need to let us know how we will help and, certainly, we will help.
“One of the ways the state government will be assisting the hospital is to replace all the equipment discarded during the decontamination process.
“This is the first thing we will be doing to replace the tools, but, most importantly, we will also be supporting the personnel, because they are the most important tools.
“On law, there is the Public Health Law and you were right to have acted the way you did. We are also considering the amendment to that law.
“And when the executive bill goes to the parliament in a couple of weeks, I have asked them to list it for consideration to see what we can do in the law to strengthen capacity going forward”.
Fashola said he visited the hospital as part of the post-Ebola damage control measure. He added that his visit was to pass a message that people should not live endlessly in fear over problems but they should always confront them and move on with their lives afterwards.
The governor commended all those who helped in the containment of the deadly virus disease in the state, saying their support helped to avert what could have been a tragedy.
The Chief Medical Director of the hospital, Dr. Benjamin Ohiaeri, thanked the governor for the visit, saying it had helped to enliven the atmosphere at the hospital and boost the morale of the personnel.
According to Ohiaeri, the hospital paid a huge price in containing the virus as it lost four workers, including a medical consultant, Dr. (Mrs) Stella Adadevoh.
The CMD further noted that some other workers tested positive to the virus while caring for the index case but were subsequently sent to quarantine and treated.
While saying the hospital had learnt an invaluable lesson from the experience, he said the institution would be more than willing to share such to better what had happened.
“The state government and the hospital must share the experience so that we can better what has happened.
“A lot of things happened and the most important thing now is to go back to the basics”, he said.