Offa General Hospital Assault
How Offa General Hospital Staff Deliberately Sponsored the Death of Patients
More than Eight years, Offa General Hospital Staff members have deliberately sponsored the deaths of most patients with negligence and unprofessionalism palpable in all of their operations, victims said. Inadequate Infrastructural facilities, may have contributed to many recorded deaths of patients, as well, Jimoh learnt.
As part of his third year anniversary as Kwara State governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed renovated five hospitals in June 2014. The five hospitals gulped N3.7bn on the record.
The governor also disclosed that as part of efforts to improve health care delivery in the state, his administration has distributed drugs and equipment to 13 general hospitals and 43 primary health care centres.
Ahmed turned the old UITH in Ilorin to a General Hospital by renovating, re-modelling and equipping the hospital to a status befitting of a General Hospital apparently to ease access to health care delivery within the metropolis. The hospital which has begun operation alongside four others spread across the three senatorial districts in the Central, North and South has, according to the government, been equipped with state-of-the-art facilities.
The other general hospitals are located in Share in Ifelodun Local Government, Kaiama in Kaiama Local Government, Offa (Offa Local Government) and Omu Aran, the headquarters of Irepodun Local Government. Offa and Omu Aran were inaugurated to the public by Tuesday, June 10, 2014.
While inaugurating Offa General Hospital, the governor explained that the newly remodeled hospitals would complement other health centres within their domains especially with the existence of an Advanced Diagnostic Centre in the state.
“Certainly, our determination to provide qualitative healthcare necessitated the renovation and equipping of five general hospitals, including that of Offa. It was also in line with our policy thrust of providing accessible health care within 500 meters radius statewide”, Ahmed said.
8 years later, Offa General Hospital has turned into a “beautiful place to die.” The infrastructure is still there and intact. Nothing is diminishing, but the hospital is not performing its normal life insurance coverage for the populace. If the reports are anything to go by, Offa General Hospital is doing quite the opposite.
Many people who won’t want their names to be mentioned told their stories of pains, anguish and tears at the hospital. I feel the reason behind the increasing deaths at the hospital can be categorized into three: unprofessionalism-cum-negligence, lack of equipment and business inclination.
OFFA GENERAL HOSPITAL ASSAULT: Unprofessionalism-cum-Negligence
There are many reports that tilt towards a bad image for the hospital.
For instance, how do we address a situation whereby the CMD was the one that carried out a surgery after he discovered nobody was ready to attend to a patient in labour pains because other doctors were watching football within hospital premises? By the time the doctors were done watching the football game, the baby had died. (this incident was reported by someone in ODU WhatsApp group).
Another gray area that calls for concern is the seemingly limited knowledge of the profession by the supposed professionals of the hospital. Why do people visit hospitals if not to seek medical help from medical professionals? I will buttress this with two incidents.
On Friday, December 9, 2022, a woman went to the hospital for delivery and, according to her, the nurse on duty told her it was not yet time for delivery. The nurse said something about her EDD (Expected Date of Delivery). The lady, upon advice of a friend, went to the health centre behind Olofa palace for assessment. She was told it’s time for delivery. She gave birth before 9pm that night.
Mr. Sunday Obinna, an Igbo trader in Offa, wrote: “Yes, my wife was once a victim at the point of delivery. We were going up and down without anybody to attend to us. Someone would later attend to us when I began to cause a scene and draw people’s attention. She said the doctor wasn’t around, and that we should come back or wait for him. We had to immediately go to a private hospital where my wife delivered within an hour. I regretted allowing her to go to that hospital for antenatal care.”
Another man, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, related how he and his wife lost their baby due to neglect or unprofessionalism on the part of staff of the said hospital.
He told me: “Hmm… Nov 15, 2021 is an unforgettable day in my life because of the bad experience I had on it. My wife gave birth on this day and we lost the baby due to incompetence of the doctor. My wife was due for delivery and we rushed her to the hospital. I discovered that the medical practitioners there didn’t know what to do after listening to them as they aired different opinions as to what to do. I could hear them talking above one another, like chatterboxes. Some suggested Cesarean delivery and others suggested the use of vacuum. They subsequently agreed to use the vacuum. It was the vacuum they used to injure the baby. How? They used a vacuum for a baby whose head had not come out of the womb.
“The doctor on duty that day was called Doctor Umar. I can never forgive that man. He caused us to lose the baby.
“That is just their way. They don’t care.
“The problem with them is that those doctors have their own private hospitals. They attend to patients there more than the General Hospital. Some do refer patients to their own hospitals.
“If I have more money that time I would charge them to court. You won’t believe that they broke one of the baby’s hands. I was crying like a baby.
“It was a very bad experience. Bad experience.”
Furthermore, Balikis Adeola, a mother of four, narrated how she lost her first born to the negligence of the hospital’s staff in 2013. She has three children alive to call hers now.
She narrated: “Same thing happened to me in 2013, they made me lose my baby. They abandoned me and went to sleep. I delivered the baby myself and the baby had already inhaled a lot of blood and dirt before coming out. They had to beat him before he cried. I later lost the baby the third day at University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH) in Oke Oyi, Ilorin.”
On the 13th of March, 2022, Mr. Babatunde and his heartthrob who was pregnant had their introduction ceremony which was attended by family, friends and well-wishers. 8 months later (December 9), the lady was due for delivery and was laying on the bed at the LDR (labour, delivery, and recovery room) of Offa General Hospital. She wouldn’t be attended to for two days (Friday till Sunday). She would lose the baby.
No tangible reason(s) on the part of the staff members.
Babatunde’s “Ill-luck”, as we would realize, was one out of many.
When the incident was first put on Facebook by a concerned fellow, Honourable Lawal Oluwatosin Muhammed who did not even know the couple, many people who had same or related experiences in the hospital found solace in relaying their experiences under his post.
Hon Lawal Oluwatosin himself had earlier posted about his sister, Salaudeen Fauzeeyah Onaopemipo, who lost her life in Offa General Hospital on Saturday, December 10, 2022. The deceased came from Okeho, Oyo State.
He told this writer, “we lost a final year student of Kwara State Health Technology, Offa, Public Health Department in the Labour Room on Saturday for not being attended to by the staff of the Offa General Hospital.”
On Sunday, Mr. Lawal posted: “A final year student of Kwara State Health Technology Offa, a Muslim sister and blood sister lost her life yesterday when she was in the labor room at General Hospital Offa. She died along with her child. These are unforgettable memories. May Allah Subuhano’huwa ta’Allah grant them jannah fridaus. Ameen.
“My blood sister, Fauzeeyah came to Offa to have a better education and bright future at Offa, which we didn’t know that she won’t return back home alive. Allah Subuhano’huwa ta’Allah, you’re unquestionable”
LACK OF EQUIPMENT
The General Hospital lacks adequate medical equipment, as little as Infusion devices and equipment for blood tests.
There is also the problem of epileptic power supply. I however was told the hospital has a standby high-power generator.
Another source intimated that, “we had to contribute money for fuel when my wife wanted to give birth. Also, when my sister was in serious conditions, we were the ones that brought the power generator from home…..”
Another woman (Balkis Ayoade) narrated how her elder sister delivered a child with a torch light in the hospital!
Another person related how her brother died during the weekend at the hospital due to the “absence of first aid equipment and no fuel in the ambulance that was supposed to convey the victim to Ilorin for proper treatment.”
In May 2014, I did a blood transfusion for my mother. I was told to hold a bottle and stretch my hand forward and backward after they passed a string (IV Giving Set) into my veins and the other end into a blood bag.
Rumors have it that medical professionals at the Offa General Hospital have their own places they offer private services. Some are said to be bold enough to refer people to their own business places where they offer better services at exorbitant prices.
OTHER EYEWITNESSES ACCOUNTS
The duo of Kazeem Sanusi and Kazeem Tewogbola featured on a programme on Okin 105.7 FM, Offa on Monday, December 12, 2022. Words of the duo are translated below:
Sanusi: “I’m here tonight because of Offa General Hospital. The situation there is disheartening. There are not enough doctors in the hospital. There are approximately three practicing doctors there. This is very bad.
“Offa is next to Ilorin, the Kwara State capital. This is the hospital everybody in Offaland and Ibololand which is a major part of Kwara South uses.
“When I went on an inspection at the General Hospital, the patients I met with said there was no nurse to attend to them, and doctors only come twice daily; in the morning and evening. I asked how many doctors the hospital has, they said they can’t be more than three. This is very bad.
“Furthermore, I feel General Hospital should not be sharing the same electricity supply as the Offa community. The hospital needs a stable electricity supply for operations.
“I hear the power providers do cut the hospital’s supply.
“Another person alleged that the hospital staff used pieces of a biscuit parcel as a hospital card.
Tewogbola: “I did not visit the hospital, but if it’s like how Mr. Kazeem Sanusi said, I will implore the Kwara State Health Commissioner to pay an emergency visit to the hospital. He should also assess the staff strength of the hospital.
“I went to Omu-Aran in 2019 for an occasion. I had an encounter with Professor Wale Suleiman, Kwara Special Adviser on Health Matters. We were arguing when I told him Offa General Hospital is poorly funded. He claimed the hospital is being provided for adequately by His Excellency Mallam Abdulrahman Abdulrasaq.
“To ascertain my claims, he followed me from Omu-Aran to Offa. When he saw what was going on in the hospital, he put both hands on his head in despair. He promised to look into it.”
OFFA GENERAL HOSPITAL’S REACTS
Chief Medical Director, Offa General Hospital, Dr. Abdulsalam O.M, on Tuesday, said he is a civil servant and not authorized to speak to anyone.
KWARA STATE GOVERNMENT REACTS
The Commissioner for Water Resources, Femi Agbaje (White) has responded to the incident, on Monday.
In a lengthy submission on Offa Descendants’ Union (ODU) WhatsApp group, Agbaje wrote: “At times, we need to do some findings when we see reports like this before we lend credence to it especially when it has some negative implications on the community.
“I listened to an audio clip this morning where a lot of allegations were made in respect of this particular incident . I immediately proceeded to the hospital, at least, to do some findings and see where the government could address some of the issues raised.
“It was true that a lady was admitted and delivered a stillbirth and the lady eventually died as a result of persistent bleeding.
Being a non expert in this field and since I can only rely on the information supplied to me by the CMD, matrons and other personnel, I could not boldly say whether or not there was negligence on the part of those who attended to her.
“Nobody can question the inevitability of death and even the country with the best medical care system still records death. Therefore, blaming it on doctors or staff of the hospital may not be totally right.
“While it is true that there is erratic power supply in Offa general hospital just like in many other establishments of such nature in our country today, we should not portray our general Hospital as the worst in the state. The Offa general hospital, in order to address this power problem, has an alternative arrangement of inverters which provides light whenever the light is out.
“I was conducted round the facilities at wards, emergency unit and maternity. This debased the lies that patients are being forced to buy fuels to power generators before they can be attended to. Although the hospital is on 11kva which is grossly inadequate, we need to migrate to 33kva. The process which I have started today even though it is not an easy one.
“It is also not true that the hospital was using a biscuit carton to issue cards to the patients.
“Also the nos (number) of the doctors we have are not two as being alleged even though the 5-7 that the record shows they have is still not adequate.
“We cannot continue to de-market our community under whatever guise. We can criticize to call the attention of the government but we should be careful not to add lies in order to drive home our points.”
This is a clarion call on great people of Offa: His Royal Majesty, Olofa of Offa, Oba Mufutau Muhammed Oloyede Gbadamosi, Okikiola Esuwoye II, Olofa-in-Council, Asiwaju of Offa, Alhaji Tajudeen Owoyemi, Offa Descendants Union (ODU), being led Dr. Funsho Oladipo, Offamesi being led by Professor Mosobalaje Oyawoye among other stakeholders in the community.
I also call on the Kwara State Government, led by Mallam Abdulrahman Abdulrasaq to look into these issues for the sake of the masses who seek medical help in the hospital.
However, I can’t deny that I am not aware of the fact that the ODU Health Committee Chairman has since yesterday (Monday, December 12) swift into action on the matter. The ODU National awaits his professional advice and the next line of action.