In continuation of its civil society engagements, the Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO), Akwa Ibom State Branch, embarked on an advocacy visit to the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital (UUTH) today, Wednesday, 13th May, 2020, where the Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the UUTH, Dr. Emem Bassey, conducted the CLO team on a tour of the newly established Level 3 Isolation/Treatment Centre for the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Isolation/Treatment Centre is a one-storey building with 24 furnished Rooms, 4 Suites, a medical store, a 2-bed Intensive Care Unit (ICU) with two ventilators, a semi-laboratory and other support facilities.

The Isolation/Treatment Centre is developed by the UUTH in partnership with the Akwa Ibom State Government on what used to be the Amenity Block. Each of the rooms is furnished with a television set, a refrigerator, a bathroom, a toilet, and other support facilities.

According to the CMD, the patients are expected to be housed and fed within the facility for the period of isolation and treatment.

The Isolation/Treatment Centre has a nurses’ station and a doctors’ room.

The CMD showed the CLO’s team the access and exit doors of the facility, saying that they would be very strictly regulated to prevent unauthorised entry and exit.

There is a facility meant for nurses on call, who are expected to remain permanently at the intensive care unit. For the safe disposal of wastes, the Isolation/Treatment Centre is equipped with an incinerator.

The distinct advantage of the Isolation/Treatment Centre is that it has furnished rooms instead of open wards.

The CMD commended the Federal Government and the Akwa Ibom State Government for providing supports and for equipping the Isolation/Treatment Centre, but called for more financial support from both federal and state governments.

The CMD also pleaded with the state and federal governments to look into the problem of inadequate power supply facing the Isolation/Treatment Centre and the UUTH, which has placed the UUTH under the huge financial strain of having to run the UUTH and the Isolation/Treatment Centre on fuel-powered generators.

On his part, the chairman of the CLO, Otuekong Franklyn Isong, commended the CMD for receiving the team even on a short notice.

He expressed delight on the setting up of the facility, saying that it would further boost the state government’s efforts at containing the COVID-19 pandemic in the State.

Comrade Isong said that he was happy that the CMD and his management team are working with the State government to curb the spread of the virus, asserting that the fight against the novel coronavirus needs concerted efforts of all stakeholders in the State in order to achieve success.

The international human rights group called for more funds and supports from the State and Federal governments for the UUTH and urged particularly the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, ExxonMobil and other multinational oil companies operating within the shores of Akwa Ibom State as well as well-meaning individuals to donate funds to the UUTH, as paucity of funds is the principal challenge facing the smooth running of the UUTH and the Isolation/Treatment Centre.

Signed:
Comrade (Barr.) Christopher Ekpo
(Secretary, Akwa Ibom CLO)

DATED: Wednesday, 13th May, 2020.

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