Coronavirus: Nigeria’s foremost hospital, UCH, seeks financial assistance

University College Hospital Ibadan
University College Hospital Ibadan

The University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, has called on Nigerians to support the institution with funds to procure some hospital equipment necessary to combat the novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) in the country.

The teaching hospital made the request in a memo dated March 26 and signed by its Chief Medical Director, Jesse Otegbayo.

It said the fund is required to scale up its ability to respond credibly to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The teaching hospital, the first in the country, established in 1957, is not only a major health facility in the state but the entire country.

PREMIUM TIMES reported how the management of the teaching hospital earlier announced its decision to suspend key services due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

Mr Otegbayo had said the decision became necessary due to the “accidental exposure of some doctors in the institution to some suspected Covid-19 patients”.

He said that the suspension was to curtail the spread of the deadly disease.

With this development, hundreds of people from the state and neighbouring states who are currently accessing health services in UCH will no longer have access to public healthcare.

Soliciting for funds

In the memo, the hospital said it has commenced plans to scale-up it’s initial 4-bed isolation unit to an 18-bed facility, due to the highly infectious nature of COVID-19

“As part of the plan to scale up our ability to respond credibly to the Covid-19 pandemic, the hospital has commenced plans to scale-up it’s initial 4-bed isolation unit to an 18-bed facility.

“Due to the highly infectious nature of the organism, all requests are in multiple numbers in order to ensure that cross-infection is limited as much as possible.

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“To this end, we hereby solicit for funds to achieve the following: Pipeline oxygen with at least 20 patient points with humidifier, Respiratory Ventilators, Personal Protective Equipment (Apparel), Suction machines, Nebulizers, Bacterial and viral filters, Medical consumables, Mobile X-ray machines, Oxygen concentrators, Pulse oximeters, Nurse/doctors bay.

“We are expectant that in the spirit of social responsibility, well-meaning Groups/associations will support the initiatives as deemed fit,” the memo reads.

Direct donations to hospitals

Speaking to PREMIUM TIMES on the phone, the spokesperson of the hospital, Toye Akinrinlola, said the institution is trying very hard to meet its demands.

He urged Nigerians to donate directly to the hospital if they are to see the impact.

“People look up to us to be able to provide adequate medical attention for them but unfortunately, there are little or no resources.

“And all of the donations people are making now are not being made directly to the hospitals.

“Like UCH, you will expect that people should come and assist in large numbers with some huge funds. Nobody is targeting a particular teaching hospital for donation.

“Whereas that is what should be done. Donate to a particular hospital and tell them what to do with the money. So that people can feel the impact.

“Within sub-region for example, the catchment of UCH is Nigeria, we don’t belong to any geo-political zone. So it should be the concern of every Nigerian but unfortunately, no help is coming from anywhere and especially at this time when everybody is looking up to us.

“We are struggling very hard to really reach some of our obligations,” he said.



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