LUTH begins massive renewal to meet demand pressure
LUTH, a tertiary hospital established fifty-six years ago to care for all-inclusive medical needs of Nigerians has earned a reputation as the leading health care provider in the country, going by statistics of patronage.
Chief Medical Director (CMD) of LUTH, Prof. Chris Bode, told journalists: “Understandably, since 1962 when it was founded, several feats have been recorded even as it strives to meet the medical requests of an increasingly growing megacity.
LUTH, like other national institutions, always has the need to upgrade its facilities towards meeting the challenges of the time to retain confidence of its teeming patients.
“It is common knowledge that population growth, pressure and time impress the burden of ‘tear and wear’ on such facilities, overstretching capacities in view of decades of usage attending to the sick who daily the facility, both for minor and complex medical needs.
“However, in spite of these challenges, LUTH is not resting on its oars by responding to mitigate the consequences of aging facilities with the scarce and competing resources at its disposal.”
Bode who is a consultant paediatric surgeon said the management has commenced a hospital-wide renewal of its 56-year old ward blocks, starting with the B-Block.
He explained: “Expectedly, withdrawing a block of 120 beds from service will create some bed constraints, but LUTH has continued to do its best by ensuring that patients are not unduly sent away.
As expedient, there is a cooperation plan with the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital to accommodate other patients in line with world’s standard practice.
“The new blood bank, Accident and Emergency (A&E) laboratory, optical workshop and laboratory, acute stroke care centre, and endo-laser surgical suite were built from scratch.
Each of these was the first of its kind in Nigeria and these projects have attracted applause from clients, staff and relevant Federal institutions.”
The LUTH CMD said the management, in the last three and a half years, has successfully rehabilitated the modular theatre, Accident and Emergency department, psychiatry, dental outpatient, the 44000 gallons/hour water treatment plant, the industrial incinerator and the administrative block which were run down by pressure of usage.
On medical supplies, he said LUTH stocks more than 80 per cent of prescribed drugs and has enough stock of medical consumables at all times.
Those it could not stock are the rarely prescribed items, implants and other expensive individualized needs.
Bode said with the 3.48-MW PPP financed LUTH Independent Power Project, the hospital is enjoying uninterrupted electric power supply.
This informed the priority accorded each of the critical areas for uninterrupted electricity; these are the operation theaters, Neonatal Unit, Intensive Care Unit, and each has a backup generator. Most of these facilities also have inverter backup as a third line of defense.
He said the School of Biomedical Engineering, the Advanced Fertility Centre, the Interns’ Hostel Accommodation, Olikoye Ransome Kuti Children’s Emergency Building and the Infectious Disease Isolation Unit were recently completed and put to use.
Similarly, the long abandoned Road 6 was reconstructed with gutters on both sides and has been graded and in use already but asphalting, just as the Student Nurses’ Hostels and Nurses’ Seminar rooms have all been repaired and are currently functional.
“Due to the importance of water to its operations and hygiene of patients and medical and health workers, management ensures that every ward, and indeed everywhere facility is adequately catered for with potable water.
This is the result of the rehabilitation of the water treatment plant where 40,000 gallons of water is produced every hour in addition to connection to the Lagos State Water Corporation pipeline aside the provision of borehole in locations within the hospital,” the paediatrician said.
He said the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority recently formed a partnership with LUTH to upgrade its Radiotherapy Unit and build an Advanced Cancer Treatment Centre.
“With a sum of $10 million, LUTH is being re-equipped with three new Linear Accelerators, a Brachytherapy Machine, Treatment Planning System and many other facilities to make LUTH a pride of place for patients with cancer.”
Bode added: “In the same vein, the Eyeware Laboratory is now equipped to get tested for and be fitted with a new pair of eye-glasses under an hour at our LUTH-Crystal Optics Eyeware Laboratory.
The private Synlab, made possible through Public-Private Partnership, is an ISO-Certified Laboratory with an international reputation for efficient and prompt services.
The Advanced Fertility Centre in LUTH charges only a modest fee for IVF services.
Just recently, seven of nine infertile women became pregnant in one cycle of infertility treatment.
All eight endoscopes that became dysfunctional from overuse have been fully repaired in Germany and returned to LUTH for use.”
The physician said LUTH is able to save over 100 lives nationally through the Suicide Research and Prevention Initiative; using Hotline Service, where emergency calls have prevented suicide in 16 states of the federation within 18 months.
He added: “In the same way, drug abuse problems are being combated by linking callers to Appropriate Mental Health Services at different locations.
This novel initiative prompted the West African Health Organization to visit LUTH and understudy its model for replication in other West African countries.
In fact, a number of other institutions have come to understudy these new models of service delivery.”
Bode said the Blood Bank which was a place of blood scarcity and agony has been transformed into yet another sphere of excellence.
It is one of the best in Nigeria. With well-stocked fridges and a fully-equipped floor, surgeons, pediatricians, physicians and obstetricians are happy with the blood bank as availability of blood and blood products is now guaranteed.
He said although majority of nurses employed were young and highly mobile workers who constantly marry and are much sought-after abroad, yet LUTH recruits up to 100 new nurses every year, but many also leave the system for greener pastures.
As such, locum workers are being recruited in areas where such are direly needed as is common practice the world over. Currently, LUTH has close to 700 nurses even as its daily admission is yet to reach 500 patients.
He further stated: “These and many more should be the feats to celebrate in appreciating the efforts of government and management of a reputable health institution like LUTH to further encourage the sacrifice and service of the personnel towards combating the health needs of our nation and motivating those practicing at home to remain committed to the task of saving life.
“Expectedly, aside those that have been completed, some other projects are ongoing including the LUTH/NSIA Advanced Cancer treatment Centre which is a PPP Project worth $10 million and is already at an advanced stage ready for commissioning in January 2019.
On completion, the Centre will feature three new Linear Accelerators, a Brachytherapy Machine, a Treatment Planning System, a Bank of Chemotherapy Suites, Seminar Rooms and Teaching Facilities.
“Another is the Radiology Department which is also being re-equipped through a PPP initiative with Messrs JNCI to provide four new X-Ray machines, Fluoroscopy, Mammography, MRI machine, Mobile X-Ray machines, Ultra scan Machines, Picture Archiving Machine and many more.
The whole facility is being upgraded to make it a one-stop Imaging Centre. This project will also be ready for commissioning in a few months.”
The paediatrician said LUTH is building the Treatment Centre for over 8000 HIV/AIDS patients. The project is at the roofing stage now and will be ready for use soon.
He said the management is paying attention to staff welfare. “With the Staff Home Ownership Scheme, the first Batch of 50 workers will soon be beneficiaries at the Staff Housing Estate at Pakoto.”
he CMD said a Job Description Handbook for Consultants has been produced while efforts are in progress to do the same for all cadres of LUTH workers.
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