COVID-19: National Eye Centre Strategizes On Protecting Workers, Maintains Emergency Services

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Chief Medical Director, National Eye Centre, Dr. Mahmud Alhassan

By; DEKERA NICHOLAS, Kaduna

As the novel CoronaVirus pandemic continues to bite harder in Nigeria, the foremost eye care hospital in Nigeria, the National Eye Centre, Kaduna has continued to render its noble services. 

In chat with newsmen in Kaduna, the Chief Medical Director of National Eye Centre, Dr. Mahmud Alhassan said, “We are implementing the universal protection since we don’t have vaccines and we cannot implement point of care assessment of testing for COVID-19. 

“So, hand washing, social distancing and then also protecting ourselves with good face masks to prevent transmission are the strategies we are working around. 

 “We have also strategised our operations as follows; the high risk, devoted risk and low risk areas, and the appropriate Personal Protective Equipments (PPEs) for these areas are being provided for people who work in this high risk areas. Same for patients who come from high risk areas, we’ll have to provide them special protection,” Alhassan added.

On eye related symptoms of COVID-19, he revealed that the eye symptoms that can transmit the virus can come out from the tears without symptoms.  So the general public must be aware that COVID-19 can present first with eye signs and symptoms.
On safety of the patients that are coming to the hospital, Dr. Alhassan maintained that “we have virtually shut down almost 80 per cent of our activities and we’re just attending to real ophthalmic emergencies; things like severe infections from popular injuries.  
“So that is where we are now hoping that as the days go by and the world better understand the disease we’ll be able to now institute strategies on how to reopen the hospital when we are sure of safety of our patients.”
 Speaking on dangers of COVID-19,  Alhassan maintained that “We’ll be bringing in new protocols that will further assure that patients and caregivers are safe; because it would be a serious disaster to bring in COVID-19 into this place because eye care involves various kinds of care.  

“Like in the National Eye Centre if you come here at least a patient would need to go to four or five different service points; and it would be very disastrous for a COVID-19 positive patient to come here who’s not detected and just moves around our facility and then dropping viruses anywhere he goes. So that is it – universal protection! That’s what we’re going to implement.  
“We have very experienced doctors and nurses at their emergency rooms, we’ll look at the situation and if its reveal emergency we’ll attend to them,”  he added.

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