By Oluwafunke Ishola, Lagos.
The Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, on Friday said that the state had exited the fifth COVID-19 wave, noting that severe complications from the disease had ceased.
Abayomi made the declaration during the launch of a Lithotripsy Machine, donated to the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) in Lagos on Friday.
Recall that the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control had on July 8, in a public health advisory, warned of the onset of fifth COVID-19 wave arising from increasing daily infections.
The commissioner said that although COVID-19 infection was still existent, many residents had developed immunity against the disease from natural infection or vaccination.
“Now that we’ve weaned ourselves out of the fifth COVID-19 wave, it’s still rumbling around but most residents have enough immunity, either from natural infection or vaccination.
“We are not seeing the severe complications of COVID-19 infection anymore,” he said.
Abayomi said that the Lithotripsy Machine, donated by Mr Idowu Obasa, would assist many patients, who could have otherwise gone through painful and dangerous medical procedures.
He said that the donation made LASUTH the first recipient of Lithotripsy Machine among public health facilities in Nigeria.
According to him, Lithotripsy is a non-invasive (the skin is not pierced) procedure that uses shock waves or lasers to break down stones in the kidneys, bladder or ureters.
He explained that kidney stones occurred when minerals and other substances in the urine crystallise in one’s kidneys, forming solid masses or stones that were too large to pass through the urinary tract.
He commended the donor, noting that the machine would further assist LASUTH in raising the standard of healthcare in the state and also the country.
Commenting, Obasa said that he was inspired to purchase the machine when he heard about the equipment lacuna.
“In 2009, I used this machine in India for a procedure in just a normal hospital, not private, not expensive, and honestly, it’s shameful that we have to go to India to get things that we ought to get here.
“I’m a chronic kidney disease patient, among other things. I’m one of the people that medical practitioners call ‘with many underlying conditions’.
“I’m like a chemist when I start using my drugs.
“I have been privileged to be attended to in so many hospitals all over the world and I want to say that our doctors are better qualified than most of the people we meet.
“My experience in India inspired me and I said, why should India have these machines scattered all over the place and we don’t have any here?” he said.
Obasa noted that adequate provision of equipment was critical to quality healthcare service delivery and commended the state government for maintaining excellence in the health sector.
Also, Prof. Adetokunbo Fabamwo, Chief Medical Director, LASUTH, disclosed that the Lithotripsy Machine cost between N40 million and N50 million.
Fabamwo commended Obasa for the generous donation, saying that the machine, which the hospital usually rented for the medical procedure, got spoilt and that created gaps.
He pledged to ensure proper and judicious use of the machine to promote the citizens’ health.