BENIN CITY, Wednesday, 27th May, 2020 –
The Honourable Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire has commended His Excellency, Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State, His Excellency, Philip Shuaibu, the Deputy-Governor and their team for putting in place, the Level 3 Bio-safety Molecular Laboratory cited in Edo Specialist Hospital, Benin City as well as the 500-bed COVID-19 Isolation and Treatment Centre at the Stella Obasanjo Hospital, declaring the readiness of Edo State to ensure the health of the people of the State.
The Honourable Minister who had nothing short of commendation for the Obaseki-led State Government said his earlier call on all States to partner with the Federal Government to put in place no less than 300-bed Isolation and Treatment Centre to be able to respond appropriately to fight COVID-19 in any corner of Nigeria was heeded and exceeded by Governor Godwin Obaseki and his team, given what he and his team from Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) could see at Benin City on Wednesday, 27th May, 2020.
The Level 3 Bio-safety Molecular Laboratory cited in Edo Specialist Hospital, the Honourable Minister’s Team was told, was aimed at handling such diseases as SARS-COV 2 Virus, Ebola virus, Lassa virus and other infectious diseases.
Experts who were on hand to show the Honourable Minister’s team around the facility also revealed that the centre can also run samples such as all forms of viral loads, Tuberculosis PCR and Fungi PCR.
The visiting FMOH team were wowed by the additional facilities which came with the Molecular Laboratory: Separate rooms such as Donning room, Deactivation room, Extraction room, Master Mix room, Amplification room, Doffing room and Bio-repository room especially as they were briefed on the health care givers deploy these facilities to serve the people of Edo and others.
The Laboratory was also revealed to have the capability to run both manual and automated nucleic acid extraction and can release 94 results of patients within 3 to 4 hours with the real time PCR machine in place.
The Honourable Minister’s Team was also acquainted with the fact that the Laboratory has the additional capacity to function as a Research Centre and can keep database of Infectious sample of up to 15,000 samples with the gigantic -86 degree ultra low freezer, especially with its consortium of highly trained and seasoned Molecular specialist with different areas of Molecular specialization. Given the special programmes and manpower behind the Lab Centre, it has been tagged a reference Molecular centre.
The Medical team Lead at the Lab Centre further disclosed that it has the capacity to serve all the States in the whole of South-South geo-political zone of the country with the plans by the Edo State Government and the Consortium of Scientists at the disposal of the Centre to upgrade the Centre for analysis like Next Generation sequencing and Microarray.
At the 500-bed COVID-19 Isolation and Treatment Centre at the Stella Obasanjo Hospital, Benin City, Dr. Osagie Ehanire was visibly impressed that the facility has now become a totally repurposed and dedicated a Centre for COVID-19 Isolation and Treatment Centre which takes care of all the concerns associated with COVID-19 treatment: The need to mentally distract patients with some form of entertainment to aid their quick recovery from the disease. For this, recreation and interaction section was added for children and adult patients.
The Federal Ministry of Health’s team to the inspection and commissioning of the Health Facilities in Edo State include the Director of Hospital Services, Dr. Adebimpe Adebiyi, the Prof Darlington Obaseki Chief Medical Director (CMD) of University of Benin Teaching Hospital, CMD of Irrua Specialist Hospital, Edo State, the Senior Technical Assistant to the Honourable Minister, Dr. Chris Osa Isokpunwu and the others, whilst the Edo State Government’s Team that came on the inspection and commissioning include His Excellency (H.E.), Governor Godwin Obaseki, H.E. Phillip Shuaibu , Barrister Osarodion Ogie(Secretary to the State Government), Mr. Ethan Uzamere (Chief of Staff to the Governor), HC Dr. Patrick Okundia (The Commisioner of Health), Dr. Osamwonyi Irowa (The Permanent Secretary in Edo State Ministry of Health), CEO Edo Specialist Hospital, Dr. Ebowonyi (The CMD, Stella Obasanjo Hospital), Dr. Uzor Okonmah (Health Consultant) and Dr. Richie Odigie (Health Consultant).
Whilst expressing the gratitude of Edo State Government and People to the visiting Honourable Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire who also happens to be a “Son of the soil”, H.E. Governor Godwin Obaseki disclosed that many indigenes and citizens of Edo State assisted his Government to put the repurposed and dedicated health facilities which were commissioned and inspected in place and along with the visiting team, he gave his gratitude. The Governor however told his people that even with the facilities put together, “It is not yet uhuru because of the community spread of COVID-19 and the centrality of Edo State’s location.”
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