No fewer than ten medical doctors have tested positive for COVID-19 while treating patients at Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, an official has said.
The chairman of the hospital’s branch of the Association of Resident Doctors, Abubakar Nagoma, confirmed this to PREMIUM TIMES on Monday in Kano.
He said the doctors got infected while treating patients who came to the hospital with symptoms that later turned to be COVID-19.
Mr Nagoma said the affected health professionals include resident doctors who are undergoing training and consultant doctors.
“We have resident and consultant doctors that were tested positive of COVID-19 in Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital,” he said.
“About ten doctors are confirmed positive with COVID-19. Eight of them are already in isolation centre, while the remaining two are in self isolation at their homes because they do not have any symptom. All their close contact have been traced.
“There are more test results that are yet to be out for doctors and other health workers of the hospital that were screened last week. The number of those screened are almost hundred. We are expecting the results likely within the week to know the fate of health workers of the hospital,” Mr Nagoma said.
He attributed the vulnerability of the doctors to non-use of face masks by patients when coming to hospitals and lack of adequate personal protective equipment for doctors.
He also mentioned the deliberate hoarding of information by some patients.
“On our part, we lack protective equipments. And you will see many doctors at accident and emergency unit of the hospital wearing only face masks. This is the only protection we have in addition to hand gloves and hand sanitiser. This is not the standard protection protocol guidelines according to NCDC. If you have any suspected (COVID-19) patient, you suppose to have boots, suit, face mask, goggle, cap and also a face shield. These are what is obtainable in a developed world and this the recommendation of National Centre for Disease Control. To be sincere we don’t have them on ground. We don’t have complete protective suit.
“Another thing, a lot of patients coming from various places within Kano, don’t come with a face mask. And some of them will present their background medical condition, and subsequently the symptoms of COVID-19 start manifesting later on. To some extent sometime, patients conceal information until after series of diagnosis, then you find symptoms of COVID-19. You are already exposed by then. It is unfortunate we are working in a very constrained environment.
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“Then the patient turn out is too much. There are a lot of patients coming to the hospital. And they don’t use any barrier that will serve as protection between you and them.
“We have made so many requisition to the hospital to ensure constant provision of all the necessary protective equipments. In fact we even went to the extent of threatening the hospital that we will stop diagnosing patients if this equipment are not available. But you know as healthcare providers we cannot fold our arms watching our patients dying. We are always at forefront of seeing patients whether with or without the supply of what we requested. We are still pushing for this to be available. Even the hospital management are complaining they are yet to be supplied by the federal government. What is obtainable has already been exhausted.”
Apart from the doctors, about six members of Kano State task force on COVID-19 are also infected with the virus and are currently at the state isolation centre. Prominent among them are cochairman and the secretary of the committee.
The infected doctors in Kano are among the over 100 health workers across Nigeria who have tested positive for COVID-19.
Kano State has the second highest number of COVID-19 cases in Nigeria.
On Monday night, the NCDC announced 23 new cases in Kano, putting the total confirmed COVID-19 cases in the state at 365 including eight deaths.