Following the emergence of reports that Abia State isolation and treatment facilities have one of the best COVID-19 survival rates in Nigeria, Abia State Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, has thrown light on why he was treated at a medical facility in Abuja when he was diagnosed with the disease.
According to the governor who was responding to a question during a zoom enabled online interactive session with a cross section of Abia born journalists under the platform of Abia Media Forum, it was not until he arrived Abuja to seek further answers on his ailment that a second COVID-19 test was conducted and the result returned positive.
He explained that his initial test while in Abia State that returned negative result was conducted in an NCDC facility in another state as Abia state was still putting together its own laboratories at the time.
“I started having symptoms of something that looks to me like malaria fever in the evening and then some slight headache. So my physician who is an Abian, gave me Lonart antimalarial and I had that for 3 days and after the third day the symptoms persisted and he now changed the course of treatment to Emal. He gave me shots of Emal and later Fansidar. Meanwhile, as that was going on, he administered Covid-19 tests on me and at that moment we were taking our samples to Irrua in Edo State. The samples returned to indicate that I was negative for COVID-19. So I continued to treat malaria, I took malaria tests and they said I had Residual One Plus or something like that left.”
“But after taking Fansidar, I couldn’t make urine again and that gave me a shock because I am a Biochemist and I understand the implications of not being able to move my waste through urine. So we assembled 4 doctors from around Abia here who came to look at me and they recommended that I begin treatment at a hospital in Abia known as Mecure. I went there and had my first run of dialysis, as they diagnosed, I also did 3 scans and they looked at my organs.
“While they were working on these, my ill health was deteriorating and therefore I started to seek further opinion of other doctors elsewhere. And in embarking on that journey, I went with 3 doctors from Abia and a 4th joined us in Abuja. Since we had already eliminated the possibility of Covid-19 infection based on the result from the test centre in Edo State, my sojourn to Abuja was in further diagnosis of what the situation could be. It was while I was in Abuja that the covid-19 test was conducted again, and when it came out positive that time round, we felt it was advisable to start treatment there immediately considering the deteriorating state of my health instead of us wasting the time to return to Abia.
“Unknown to the people around Nigeria, the Amachara Medical Centre has achieved more than 98% success in the treatment of COVID-19.”
He expressed appreciation to the medics that managed his case in Abuja as well as those managing the patients in Abia state and expressed joy that the state owned isolation and treatment facility in Abia State Specialist Hospital and Diagnostic Center, Amachara, has continued to maintain one of the best survival rates in Nigeria.
“So I pride myself to say that Abia doctors and the facility at Amachara remains one of the best that anybody can use. But it is when you are down with ill health which you cannot diagnose properly, because that initial diagnosis of negative for COVID was later upturned at Abuja, if I had remained here, I would have continued to shoot in the sky and I wouldn’t have been available to answer this question today as you asked them. Therefore, I thank God that I took the decision to go and also thank God that in leaving the shores of Abia, I went with 3 medical doctors in our health system that supported my recovery.”
Abia state has so far recorded 644 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 523 patients successfully discharged, as at Saturday, August 8, 2020 with a record of 99.9% survival rate, according to the state Commissioner for Health, Dr Joe Osuji.
The state is actively undertaking community case search across the 17 LGAs with 4,436 suspected cases already tested.