Head of Mission in Nigeria, Médecins Sans Frontières MSF, Siham Hajaj has confirmed the death of a medical official to COVID-19.
MSF is an international humanitarian organisation. It is also known as Doctors Without Border.
While mourning one of their staff, Siham Hajaj in a statement on Monday said: “Our dear colleague died on 18 April, in Maiduguri, and post-mortem test results indicated that he was positive for COVID-19.
“Due to patient confidentiality, we cannot disclose the identity of this patient,“ Hajaj said in the statement.
The patient was the index case of COVID-19 in Borno State while the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control confirmed his death in an early morning tweet on Monday.
Until his death, he was working in Pulka, a district in Gwoza Local Government Area of Borno State housing thousands of displaced persons.
Following the incident, Hajaj said MSF was supporting the Ministry of Health to identify the contacts of the patient.
He added that the organisation’s projects would continue to operate and provide essential treatment for communities in the country.
The MSF head of mission revealed that the organisation has strengthened infection prevention measures, hygiene facilities, infection control and the establishment of isolation spaces, in its bid to protect its staff and patients.
Hajaj said: ”It is with profound sadness that I confirm the loss of one of our colleagues. Our dear colleague died on 18 April in Maiduguri, and post-mortem test results indicated that they were positive for COVID-19.
”Due to patient confidentiality, we cannot disclose the identity of this patient. Our thoughts and our deepest sympathies are with the family of our departed colleague.
”MSF is now supporting the Ministry of Health in contact tracing.
”Our projects will continue to operate, providing essential treatment for communities in Nigeria.
”In all our projects and in order to protect our staff and patients, MSF teams have strengthened infection prevention measures, hygiene facilities, infection control and the establishment of isolation spaces.
”We pay tribute to the work and contribution of our colleague, and we stand in solidarity with all health workers, now more than ever.”