April 15, 2020

Nigerian doctor dies of coronavirus after treating infected patient in Lagos

By Chioma Obinna

A Nigerian doctor in private practice Wednesday morning died of coronavirus related complications after treating an infected patient in his hospital.

The doctor, identified as Dr. Chugbo Emeka who died at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH, was said to have been admitted at the hospital Monday, after contracting the disease from a COVID-19 patient he was said to have managed in a private hospital where he worked before his death.

Vanguard gathered that the patient he was treating died on Friday, April 3, 2020

Confirming the development, the Chief Medical Director, LUTH, Prof. Chris Bode, said the doctor was not a staff of the hospital but was rushed to the facility after he showed severe signs of the disease.

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Bode said: “He was brought in late so there was no much we could do. He was a staff in LUTH years back before he went to join the private sector. We learned he had COVID-19 patients in his facility that he was treating. He may have been exposed to the virus from there.

“His death has shown what health workers are exposed to in the course of treating COVID-19 patients. Our hearts are with his family in this trying time. It is a sad development for us.”

However, Vanguard gathered that the doctor did his residency at Obstetrics and Gynaecology department in LUTH and was 60 years.

The late doctor according to investigation was at a time the Vice President of the Association of Resident Doctors in the hospital.

He was also said to have worked at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) as a consultant.

In condolence message made available to Vanguard, the Nigerian Medical Association, NMA Lagos, said: “NMA regrets to announce the death of Dr. Chugbo Emeka at the LUTH isolation treatment ward. He died in the early hours of 15/04/2020. Until his death, he was a Private Medical Practitioner who was exposed to a confirmed case of COVID-19.  We condole with his immediate family and members of the medical community for this painful loss.”

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Also, the statement from the Association of Resident doctors reads:  “Dr. Chugbo was a former senior resident of O&G in LUTH who left to set up his private practice in Lagos.

He contracted the virus from privately managing a known covid19 patient. He later fell ill and was receiving care at his hospital. When his condition deteriorated he was referred to LUTH in severe respiratory distress. I remember Dr. Chugbo was a known asthmatic.

He was commenced on drugs but he did not really improve.

“ He passed on Wednesday morning 15th April. Dr. Chugbo was a senior resident during my training as well as a good friend who exhibited exemplary brilliance and showed empathy for his patients. May his soul RIP”