BY JOSEPHINE IGBINOVIA
The life of a 14-year-old eight-month pregant girl is presently on the line over her inability to raise the sum of N76,000 required for a caesarean section at Igando General Hospital in Lagos State.
The teen, simply identified here as Miss Duke, immediately sought the intervention of a non-profit organization, Advocates Research & Documentation Centre-WARDC, who, in turn, did an open-letter to the state governor, Mr.Babatunde Raji Fashola, to allow the teenager free access to quality maternal care in any of the state-owned hospitals.
“WARDC is writing to seek your urgent intervention to save the life of Miss Duke and allow her access to quality maternal care. Miss Duke is being denied access to antenatal facilities due to the high user fees and cost related to child delivery in state-owned hospitals. Doctors say her life is in serious danger unless she receives urgent necessary medical attention.
Miss Duke who lives in Isheri (at Ikotun area) in Lagos State was raped eight months ago, and became pregnant for a man named Tobi, who had since absconded after he was inappropriately released on bail by the Police, at Isheri Police Station sometime in August 2013.
This teenager was referred by us to the Igando General Hospital and was asked to pay the sum of N76,000 (Seventy-six thousand Naira) by the doctors who have said she must be operated upon in one week, and who have also refused any fee waiver.
She has no parental support; her only surviving parent, her mother, sells groundnut and does not have any hope of raising the said amount.
We are calling on Lagos state government to intervene because the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women at its 41st Session confirmed that states have an international human rights obligation to immediately take action to reduce preventable maternal mortality and morbidity”, the open-letter signed by Dr.Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, Executive Director, WARDC, read.