•Seek end to negligence
By Sola Ogundipe & Chioma Obinna
Services at Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH, Idi Araba, Lagos, were interrupted, yesterday morning, as dozens of protesters stormed the hospital’s main gates to protest the alleged negligence that led to the death of Mrs Ngozi Udebu, on March 26, 2016.
The protest, facilitated by Hope Alive Child Care Initiative, HACCI, in collaboration with the Medical Police, kicked off at 7:30 am from the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos.
The protesters, who wore black T-shirts, bearing the printed image of the deceased, arrived the LUTH gate, chanting solidarity songs and brandishing placards and a banner with the inscription, “Let’s join hands together to say enough of medical negligence”. They demanded to see the hospital management to register their protest.
Some of their placard messages read: “We Demand Change of Culture Towards Our Hospitals and Patients”; “Enough of Medical Negligence”; “Our Hospitals and Medical Personnel are Meant to Save Lives”; “LUTH, We Want Life Not Death”; “Are Our Hospitals Slaughter Houses?” etc.,
The protesters were, however, unable to gain entry into the hospital as the gates were firmly locked and manned by armed policemen, who prevented movement in or out of the premises.
Two men, who declined to give their names, later showed up to address the leaders of the protesters on behalf of the hospital management.
One of the men, who claimed to be the Chief Security Officer of LUTH, said the management of the hospital had sent him to tell the protesters to bear with them (management) as they had no prior knowledge of their visit, being Saturday, a non-working day.
The other man simply said: “I flew in from Abuja this morning to see what is happening here today. I was sent to know if what we have been hearing is true or not. I am very sorry for what happened.”
Responding, the convener of the protest, who is Executive Director, HACCI and Medical Police, Mrs Adaugo Nwalema, said the action of the LUTH management was a glaring show of insensitivity.
Nwalema said the essence of the walk was to show that Nigerians are fed up with medical negligence and government’s non-challant attitude to the funding of medical institutions.
The family of the deceased, a mother of four, had alleged that she was suffocated to death while undergoing treatment as a result of the negligent attitude of the hospital’s personnel.
But LUTH denied the allegation and set up an investigative panel that absolved the personnel of blame, and concluded that the patient died of asphyxia.