UBTH, NLNG unveil $500,000 ICU centre

UBTH, NLNG unveil $500,000 ICU centre

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The management of the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) and the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) have inaugurated a 15-bed Intensive Care Unit (ICU) for patients seeking emergency care in Edo State.

Speaking at the launch of the unit on Tuesday in Benin City, Darlington Obaseki, Chief Medical Director of UBTH, said the project was part of the Nigeria LNG hospital support programme geared towards ameliorating healthcare challenges of patients in critical conditions.

Obaseki, who said the initiative was a result of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed with NLNG, noted that it would complement the existing seven-bed ICU and cater for the hospital’s growing numbers of patients.

According to him, “We are one of the busiest hospitals in this country. Every week, we see close to 6,000 patients in a week; every week, we admit about 450 patients and we see about 430 emergencies in this hospital.

“So, this connotes that we are highly subscribed and oversubscribed as a hospital which is an indication of the quality of services we offer. Unfortunately, over the years, we have only a seven-bedded ICU which is almost always oversubscribed.

“So, when the opportunity came for us to benefit from this Nigeria LNG hospital support programme and they asked us to identify a problem, we remembered that we needed to open up a space to accommodate more physically ill patients. Then, we offered that we wanted our ICU to be upgraded and expanded. We are here today, thanks to NLNG, to commission this,” Obaseki said.

He further said that the facility incorporates many things such as anti-microbial epoxy coating, a central monitoring system, an oxygen alarming system, ventilators, and infusion pumps among others.

Philip Mshelbila, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Nigeria LNG Limited, on his part, said the hospital support programme was conceived on the back of the Covid-19 pandemic so as to assuage the envisaged pressure that medical institutions would experience in managing ill patients.

“A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between NLNG and each teaching hospital to set out the framework for delivery of the project was signed in Abuja on the 24th January, 2022. The program consists of health intervention projects across 12 federal university teaching hospitals in six geopolitical zones of Nigeria and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT),” he said.

Mshelbila, who was represented by Andy Odeh, General Manager, external relations and sustainable development, NLNG, said the approved cost was $500,000 per location and a total cost of $6m for the entire programme.

“The projects in each of the institutions were jointly reviewed and aligned with the hospitals following thorough needs assessment to optimally deploy and utilize resources. For UBTH, the target is to achieve the remodelling and conversion of an existing building into a 15-bed ICU,” he added.

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