… we did our best to save his life
By Joseph Erunke
THE University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, UATH, has exonerated itself of alleged complicity in the death of former Deputy Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Dr Obadiah Mailafia.
The hospital said those accusing it of having hands in the death of the foremost activist were not sincere, insisting that it did its best to save his life.
The acting Public Relations Officer of UATH, Michael Atiga, speaking on Mallafia’s death and allegations that trailed it, wondered how the hospital could be fingered for being responsible when its medical personnel did everything necessary to revive him.
According to him, the exceptional performances of medical personnel in Mailafia’s case earned them verbal accolade from the deceased wife, who he noted, was around the husband.
He explained: “The patient came in on Saturday, September 18, 2021, around 2pm to 3pm. He was well received because the doctors even have a pre-information that he was coming, so he was well received.
“And considering the nature of his illness because from what I gathered from the doctor, as he was rushed to this place, his oxygen saturation was like 60 per cent, so there was a problem already. He was in a bad condition so they had to commence treatment immediately.”
According to him, the doctors: “Placed him on a free-flow oxygen in order to increase his oxygen saturation and they started this medication immediately without asking for any money.
“The saturation which was 60 per cent at the time they came to this place, at a point, went to like 90 per cent. So they continued the treatment till like 10 O’clock at night.
“Since they discovered that his condition demanded utmost care, they called a nurse who was even off duty to be stationed with the patient throughout the night. The nurse was off duty but they called him to come and stay with the patient.
“So, the doctors did all they could to salvage the situation but you know that in health, doctors can only treat, it’s God that saves lives,” Atiga said.
According to him,” Even the wife, in the morning of that day around 8 O’clock when they passed the news of the husband’s death to her, appreciated the doctors that this is the first time she was seeing very dedicated health workers, whose priority is to save lives.”
Asked if he had the appreciation from the deceased wife on record, he said, “I don’t have it on record but this was what I gathered from the doctor on duty.”
While admitting that a foreign doctor who was contacted abroad following the development, reached out to the hospital’s doctors handling Mailafia’s case, he said, “As at the time the foreign doctor was calling, the man had passed.”
“The foreign doctor was calling from abroad through the son of the deceased instructing the doctor who had certified the man dead to go and start pressing the chest again, who now told him that “Oga, I have been into this practice for over 20 years, the man is dead, if I like, I can press his chest from now till tomorrow, that would not bring him back to life. That was what happened,” he explained.
When told there was allegation that the hospital asked for N600,000 before administering certain medication, he responded, “No, no, no.”
“That is why I’m telling you a clear record of what transpired in this hospital. If you like, you can meet with the wife of the deceased to hear her side. Nobody asked for money,” he explained.
When equally told that the Middle Belt Forum quoted the wife as saying this Atiga said: “That means the woman is not sincere, she is not sincere, because when he was certified death and the doctor passed his condolence to her, she appreciated them according to what I learnt.”
He explained further: “The man was admitted into the VIP wing of the infectious disease centre which attracted more attention. Nobody said they should deposit before they commence treatment.
“It was after his death, and they said no problem, that the CBN was going to foot the bill. So, we are suprised that all these things started coming up.
“Before his death, he was even talking to them. At a point when they were trying to improve the oxygen saturation, according to what I gathered, all their efforts connecting the cylinder was going down. They tried all they could but it was going down and that was when the man passed away.
“The doctors said at the point he was requesting for ventilator, if they do that, it would even fast track his death, they are practitioners.
“That was what happened because I went there and interviewed the doctor as a public relations officer and he briefed me on all that happened.”