Lagos Island Maternity Hospital
COVID-19: The Lagos Island Maternity Response
When the pandemic broke out in Nigeria, the Lagos Island Maternity Hospital (LIMH) already had measures in place to protect its patients and staff. LIMH the largest maternity unit in Lagos State, which is home to over 25 million people and remains the epicentre of the pandemic in the country.
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. Consequently, when the first confirmed local case 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.
Because precautions were in place early, LIMH was able to avoid the PPE supply crunch that came with the peak of the outbreak. Training sessions were also provided for staff to ensure a cohesive pandemic response. Despite the confusion caused by the pandemic, the LIMH was able to improve the quality of its services by investing in new equipment and using new methods to engage with patients. Once the lockdown was lifted, LIMH also modified its protocols to allow it to cater to 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.