By: Raji Olatunji
There are trails of controversies surrounding the relationship between the Oyo state government and the management of the University Teaching Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, with regard to the fight towards the treatment, prevention and containment of the pandemic causing havoc in the global world at large—COVID-19.
In a Radio Program anchored by Isaac Brown, on Fresh FM, Ibadan, there have been conflicting reports from the Oyo state government and the Management of the University Teaching Hospital, Ibadan, as regards the availability of a Testing Centre to aid the fight against corona virus which has been proven to be present in the state.
Reports have it that the Oyo state government has claimed many times to have been giving supports and providing facilities for UCH, in the fight against the deadly virus. According to Oyo state government, there’s a diagnostic laboratory in UCH, facilitated by the state government.
In a contrary report, the Chief Medical Director of UCH, Professor Jesse Abiodun Otegbayo, made it known that there’s no Testing Centre in UCH.
Meanwhile, Professor Georgina, a Virologist at the department of Virology, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, while speaking with Isaac Brown, acknowledged the fact that there’s a laboratory belonging to the department, and they receive blood samples from different parts of the state like Saki, and other states like Osun and Ogun. She made it known that there are no testing facilities in those places but there are trained personnel on ground who monitor the samples.
This goes to show the dichotomy between the Management of the University College Hospital, Ibadan, and that of the College of Medicine, University of Ibadan. The former operates under the Ministry of Health while the latter operates under the Ministry of Education. As such, while the laboratory at the College of Medicine is mainly for the purpose of research and learning, UCH is an institution expected to be at the top of health-related issues especially in this pandemic period.
Surprisingly, it was revealed that the Chief Medical Director of UCH has never taken part of any meeting with the state taskforce on COVID-19. Likewise, UCH was said to have not received any dime from the state government, for its operations towards the fight against COVID-19.
Furthermore, the Oyo state government has no approval from the management of UCH after making a formal request to staff its members, two weeks after taking them on board as part of the Oyo state taskforce on COVID-19. According to report, UCH is requesting the fate of its members staffed by the state government, in terms of their protection and health insurance, claiming that it’s like sending them to war.
All these show that there’s a gap between the health institution and the state government. As such, one can only ask if Oyo state is potentially ready to contain the deadly virus in the state, in terms of putting effective measures in place and working collaboratively with the health sector, towards fighting against the deadly virus.
While responding to the controversies between the state government and UCH, Mr. Bisi Oladele, Southwest Bureau Chief of The Nation’s newspaper, made it known that the bickering between the two parties is needless, urging the Governor of the state, Seyi Makinde, to personally investigate the controversies surrounding the issue of Testing Centre in order to make amendments where necessary.