The University of Abuja Teaching Hospital (UATH), Gwagwalada, FCT, on Wednesday honoured 80 COVID-19 frontline healthcare workers for their dedication and selfless service in the hospital.
Presenting the awards to the recipients, Prof. Bissallah Ekele, Chief Medical Director (CMD), UATH, said that the gesture was to encourage and prepare them for greater tasks in the future.
Ekele said that when FCT recorded its first case of COVID-19, the institution was the first to receive patients because of its capacity to manage the pandemic through the help of its frontline healthcare workers.
“About this time in 2019, we gathered to honour and celebrate the 2019 UATH Staff Award winners. We are here today to do the same and we thank God for keeping us alive to witness another celebration.
“Permit me to highlight some of the differences between today’s celebration and that of 2019.
“We were within the confines of the auditorium of the Post Basic Critical Care Nursing School but today we are outside, under canopies.
“We sat round tables like families taking dinner but today we ‘sit solo’ with measured distance between guests. We could recognise one another easily in 2019 but today we are all masked not sure who is sitting next to you.
“All these have happened, no thanks to COVID-19.”
“The first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Nigeria was on Feb. 27, 2020 and four weeks later FCT Abuja, recorded its first case and was admitted at UATH, the first and only hospital then in FCT with the capacity to manage COVID-19,” he said.
Ekele said that as at Dec. 1, 2020, the hospital had managed 313 cases of COVID-19 patients from moderate to severe cases that needed oxygen support and had so far discharged about 294 cases with 19 mortalities.
According to him, the isolation centre has received tremendous support from individuals and corporate organisations and all the frontline healthcare workers who have been working for over nine months are all in good health.
“The 80-man strong frontline health workers who have been working at the Treatment and Isolation Center for more than nine months deserve our applause and to the glory of God, they are all in good health.
“Also worthy of mention is the tremendous support our isolation center received from individuals and corporate organisations. As at the last count, we have benefited from 72 groups and individuals,” he said.
The CMD of UATH called on the awardees to continue with their dedication and hard work for the development of the health sector and to also prepare for future responsibilities.
“Let me now formally welcome you to the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital (UATH), Gwagwalada, Abuja, the Center of Excellence for Infectious Disease.
“Join us as we celebrate the heroes and patriots of the year 2020,” he said.