The Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR), Yaba, says it has set up a protocol to observe the usage of the Non-Invasive Ventilators (NIV) it distributed to some health institutions across the country.
Prof. Babatunde Salako, the Director-General of NIMR, made the disclosure in Lagos on Wednesday.
“We have set up a protocol to observe how patients and health workers fare with the non-invasive ventilators.
“You will recall that we got about 140 NIV and gave out 60 to Federal Ministry of Health, eight each to Teaching Hospitals and Federal Medical Centres (FMCs) across the country for the management of severe COVID-19 cases.
“We thought if we ever developed that kind of morbidity and mortality in Nigeria, we will be unlikely to cope especially here where we don’t have enough ventilators.
“So, a group of Nigerians and non-Nigerians in the U.S. came together and decided to assist the nation by converting Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) device to ventilator,’’ he said.
The Director-General thanked Dangote and other international donors who supported the initiative when it was conceived at the peak of the pandemic in 2020.
Prof. Catherine Falade, Director of the Institute for Advanced Medical Research & Training at the College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, said the pandemic had brought additional value to the NIV.
According to Falade, COVID-19 has attracted the needed attention to the country’s health sector.
“The COVID-19 outbreak has drawn attention to the needs of the health sector. In fact, it has also brought the value of NIV to the forefront.
“We appreciate NIMR, Dangote and foreign partners who have contributed to the donation of NIV to our institution,” she said.
Also, Prof. Wasiu Adeyemo, Chairman, Medical Advisory Committee (CMAC) of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), said the NIV had helped in the treatment of COVID-19 patients and others.
Adeyemo said that most of the COVID-19 patients brought to LUTH in the current second wave of the pandemic were in need of oxygen.
“The NIV has proved useful in LUTH for both COVID and non-COVID patients.
“In our facility, we have two Intensive Care Units where we use one for regular patients and the other for mild to severe COVID-19 cases.
“During the first wave of the virus, close to 70 per cent of patients brought in needed oxygen but currently almost every COVID-19 case brought are in need of oxygen to survive,” he said.
NIMR had earlier trained health personnel on the usage of non-Invasive Ventilators in December 2020.
The health Institutions that received the non-invasive Ventilators are Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) ; Federal Medical Centre, Ebute Meta; Federal Medical Centre Abeokuta.
Others are University College Hospital, Ibadan; and Delta State Teaching Hospital, Asaba.