Lagos Island Maternity Hospital (LIMH), the largest maternity unit in Lagos State, has been recognised by an international Non-Governmental Organisation, International Hospital Federation (IHF) as one of the hospitals and health service providers that delivered exceptional service amid the outbreak of Coronavirus pandemic earlier in the year. Commenting on the recognition, the Medical Director of the Hospital, Dr. Olufemi Omololu, explained that the journey started in July 2020, following the announcement by IHF that 103 hospitals and health service providers across 28 countries will be receiving special recognition for demonstrating initiative, agility, and an incredible capacity to innovate under extraordinary circumstances in respect of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said that Lagos Island Maternity Hospital put in a submission to IHF and was able to emerge as one of the hospitals considered worthy of recognition for the response instituted to arrest the situation when the pandemic first broke out in Nigeria, adding that LIMH already had measures in place to protect its patients and staff. Dr. Omololu said, “As early as January 2020, the hospital already had a protocol in place to control infectious diseases.
This protocol was in response to a local outbreak of Lassa fever, but LIMH’s Infection Control Committee had the foresight to take a potential COVID-19 outbreak into account”.”The precautions made it easier for the hospital to effect Mr. Governor’s free health initiative during the lockdown (April to June) which led to an increase in cases seen in the hospital at that time”, he added.
The Medical Director recalled that when the first confirmed local case of COVID-19 was reported in Lagos in the first week of March, the hospital was able to quickly roll out a mitigation plan to prevent the situation from escalating further.He stated that because precautions were in place early, LIMH was able to avoid the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) supply crunch that came with the peak of the outbreak, revealing that training sessions were also provided for staff to ensure a cohesive pandemic response.
Congratulating the entire management and staff of LIMH, especially the COVID-19 Response Committee, for making the feat achievable, Omololu maintained that despite the confusion caused by the pandemic, LIMH was able to improve the quality of its services by investing in new equipment and using new methods to engage with patients.He averred that “Once the lockdown was lifted, LIMH also modified its protocols to allow it to cater for more patients. Among its innovations is a focused antenatal care model, wherein low-risk obstetric cases visit the hospital only four times during pregnancy while high-risk cases are seen more frequently”.
The recognised hospitals that instituted changes in the provision of healthcare alongside Lagos Island Maternity Hospital include Northwell Health, USA; Pathology Queensland, Queensland Health, Australia; Regional Ministry of Health, Madrid Health Service, Spain; Hospital Authority, Hong Kong and Dubai Health Authority, the United Arab Emirates among many others. The International Hospital Federation designated the 15th of December as a global day of awareness for hospital and health service providers that have delivered exceptional service amid the Coronavirus pandemic, through technological innovations in diagnosis and treatment, restructuring workflow systems and doctor-patient interactions.