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LUTH in Crisis: Researcher’s ‘findings’ jaundiced, insincere – LUTH Management

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The attention of the management of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital has been drawn to a publication, titled, “Humanitarian Crisis and Top Level Corruption in LUTH” purportedly based on some bogus research authored by one Professor Dejo Olowu.

Baby LUTH being assisted to a wheelchair by his nurse.

Therein, the said ‘researcher’ veered off established scientific norms in reaching his subjective conclusions.

While we will not dispute validly conducted scientific-based research and its outcome, this one allegedly coming from the stable of Prof. Olowu is most suspicious. The study which supposedly sought to analyze “evidence-based” information on the causes of failure in the healthcare service delivery in Nigeria was rife with anecdotes, innuendoes and anonymous quotes.

True research is based on well-established principles and each work must be anchored on clearly enunciated objectives, methodology, reproducible results and conclusions/recommendations based only on the findings. This one convincingly failed on these criteria. Curiously, since there was no where in the write-up with any story about corruption in LUTH, one had to be manufactured to impugn the integrity of LUTH Management with an outlandish headline and generate the sensationalism it could, expectedly to draw a wrong and needless outcry.

For the records, there is no crisis at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital and there is no reason for any. It is common knowledge that our facilities are overstretched due to decades of sustained confidence in our services and personnel by Nigerians. Moreover, the limitations of facilities compel us to cooperate with other sister institutions such as LASUTH, as we daily work hard to accommodate the growing population of Nigerians who throng our facilities with mixed cases, major, minor, complicated and urgent, each seeking attention.

In spite of these challenges, we are not resting on our oars. We keep responding to our clients’ needs; each me there is enough funding towards expanding these facilities, we have embarked on such necessary expansion.

Specifically, we have begun a hospital-wide renewal of our 56-year old ward blocks, starting with the B-Block. Expectedly, withdrawing a block of 120beds from service would create some bed constraints, but we do our best to make sure nobody is sent away. On rare occasions, we arrange with LASUTH to accommodate such patients in line with world’s standard practice.

The writer similarly claimed that there was severe shortage of medicine and medical supplies in LUTH, making it extremely difficult for many Nigerians to obtain essential medical care. Nothing could be further than the truth when indeed LUTH stocks more than 80% of prescribed drugs and has enough stock of medical consumables at all times. Those drugs we do not stock are the rarely prescribed items, implants and other expensive individualized needs.

The research’s finding reported by a blog, asserted instances of epileptic power supply. How could that be when LUTH has been enjoying uninterrupted electric power supply for the past 10 months from a PPP-financed, gas-powered Independent Power Project? Each of our critical areas such as operation theaters, Neonatal Unit, Intensive Care Unit also has a backup generator that is seldom used now because our power supply is reliable.

Most of these facilities also have an inverter backup as a third line of defense and these are verifiable facts in the public domain. On water, each ward and indeed everywhere in LUTH has good water supply. We have a water treatment plant producing 40,000 gallons of water an hour in addition to being connected to the Lagos State Water Corporation pipeline. Each location also has a borehole.

Truly, our old MRI machine is dysfunctional, but a new one has been ordered and should be in place before the end of December this year. Recently, the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority formed a partnership with LUTH to upgrade its Radiotherapy Unit and build an Advanced Cancer Treatment Centre in LUTH.

With a sum of $10million, LUTH is being re-equipped with three brand new Linear Accelerators, a Brachytherapy Machine, Treatment Planning System and many other facilities to make LUTH a pride of place for patients with cancer.

In the same vein, our Guinness Eye Centre is now equipped for patients to get tested for and be fitted with a new pair of eye-glasses under an hour at our LUTH-Crystal Optics Eyeware Laboratory.

It is our pride to state that the foregoing are feats to celebrate, not the ungrounded fiction labeled as a scientific research to hoodwink the general public and discourage the sacrifice and service of our personnel.

Kelechi Otuneme, Public Relations Officer & Head, Corporate Affairs Services, Lagos University Teaching Hospital

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