A 57year old, male, Muslim patient was brought into the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH) Accident & Emergency Department on the night of Wednesday, April 1st, 2020 in the company of one of the hospital’s Professor of Internal Medicine (a specialist in infectious diseases); with history of abdominal discomfort/stooling, following ingestion of rotten pineapples. He was then admitted and managed as a case of ‘food Poisoning’. The patient later died in the early hours of the following day, 2nd, April, 2020.
Following the patient’s death and release of his corpse to the managing Professor (who also claimed to be his relative) for immediate burial (in accordance with Islamic rites), the hospital management received several anonymous calls disclosing information of recent travels by the patient and his wife to UK and having been on self isolation on arrival to Ilorin 12 days prior presentation at A&E (on the advise of the Professor who brought him)- Information that concealed from the frontline medical personnels at first contact in the A&E, A&E Attendants and the montuary staff; acts that the hospital’s management considered HIGHLY UNETHICAL!!!!
Based on this hidden and additional information, the hospital’s management and the UITH’s COVID-19 Committee immediately swung into action by doing the following:
- The case was labeled a ‘Suspected Case’;
- Immediate notification to Kwara State COVID-19 Committee Response Team;
- Proactive fumigation of the hospital Medical Emergency Department;
- Proactive advise for self isolation of close contacts of the patient while in the hospital & their follow-up by UITH’s COVID-19 Cmte Team;
- Collaboration with Kwara State COVID-19 Response Team on Contract tracing in the Community;
- Collection of laboratory samples from the deceased’s wife, the Professor, and all others identified as ‘very high risks Contacts’ using National COVID-19 Guideline; and
- Institution of other measures at every points of Clinical Services to protect health care staff in the frontlines and other, in cases of deceptions from Clients with probable symptoms of COVID-19.
The hospital is therefore thankful to these anonymous callers for these vital/critical information. The hospital hereby advise the general public to provide necessary and timely information that will aid appropriate care, services, and prompt response from health workers in the hospital.
Dr. Aisha Saka
Chairman, Medical Advisory Committee
For the Management of University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, Ilorin