UNIDOP 2020: UBTH CMD Commends Nurses For Contributing To Healthcare
Prof. Darlington Obaseki, the Chief Medical Director, University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH), has commended nurses in the hospital for their contribution to healthcare in spite of the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Prof. Obaseki made the commendation during the commemoration of the United Nations International Day of Older Persons (UNIDOP), and the Elder Friendly Hospital Initiative (ELDFRHI) organised by UBTH on Thursday. This year marks the 30th Anniversary of the International Day of Older Persons and has also been recognised as the Year of Nurses and Midwives. The 2020 observance will also promote the Decade of Healthy Ageing – 2020 to 2030.
“We are all proud of nurses taking care of elderly persons in this trying point of the country and this state, nurses have contributed largely to our success. “I acknowledge the UBTH retired nurses for their hard work which have improved services in the hospital,” he said. The chief medical director said that the dream of UBTH was to make elders comfortable in the hospital when they were ill and provide a pharmacy for older persons to reduce their waiting time in the hospital. Dr Benson Okwara, the Head, UBTH Rapid Response Team for COVID-19, said that older persons were the most vulnerable at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.
Okwara said that UBTH provided caregivers for older persons during the pandemic for doctors to be alerted on time to provide care in case of emergency. “In UBTH, 35 per cent of confirmed COVID-19 cases were 60 years and above. “Older persons are vulnerable and need special care. “In UBTH, we had 405 confirmed cases of COVID-19 from March 31 to Sept. 30. “About 143 of this number were older persons of 60 years and above, we had about 80 older persons who were discharged and sent home because of the care we offered and 25 died,” he said.
He said that majority of the older persons who died during the pandemic died as a result of already existing illnesses. Okwara said that the statistics rate of COVID-19 in the state was dropping, adding that residents still needed to follow the Federal Government’s directive of using face masks and sanitise their hands.
Prof. Obehi Akoria, the Deputy Chairman, Medical Advisory Community of UBTH, said the aim of the Geriatrics Department in UBTH included provision of acute care for elders, patient-centered care, and frequent medical reviews to limit complications. Akoria said that the department also ensured early rehabilitation, environmental modifications, and family participation. “Older persons are major consumers of healthcare and our healthcare systems are not designed to meet their special needs. “ELDFRHI seeks to improve older persons’ health and wellbeing by raising champions of elder-friendly healthcare,” she said.