dimanche 14 octobre 2012

Nigerian hospital services: a weapon of mass destruction


 The health of nations: Why Nigerian hospital services  has become a weapon of mass destruction
We  are currently experiencing a general process of disintegration through the collapse of our health services; poverty of medical health facilities, absence of skilled personnel but most of all a pervasive contempt of responsibility and accountability of the medical staffs.

Hospitals  have a mission  In most parts of the world to  inspire hope by providing the adequate health care to every patient through  an  integrated  clinical practice. It inspires hope through the expression of compassion  by  treating  patients  with  sensitivity  and empathy and most of all by its adherence to  ethics  and professional responsibility, in brief they heal the sick and give support to the physically  afflicted . Nevertheless  the prevailing experience in Nigerian Hospitals is a depressing Gloom and doom and tragic denial of its mission.
Thus, Ijeoma   was taken to the Ante natal ward of Ogbolodo general hospital in Lagos, Nigeria ,  for the delivery of her second child ,  she had not the simplest idea  of the degree  of torment, the  sulphurous  agony and pains she was to endure . And above all she could not have anticipated her near death   experience and the subsequent death of her new born  due flagrant negligence by the medicals staffs.
On that faithful day  in the early hours of the 16th of June 2012 as  Ijeoma ajufo , 34 years old, a mother of a baby –boy, arrived by taxi to the  Ogbolodo  hospital  in Iketu  Lagos she was filled with hope and prospects of having a baby- girl to form a perfect  and balanced family. As she had fully attended the mandatory ante natal program and carried out several medical check-ups, record shows that she had no reason to be nervous or distressed.  In fact Anslem Okafor,38 , ijoma’s husband had gone to work as usual as he envisaged  to return in the evening with the hope of meeting the new born in the hands of his wife. He had prepared the home and bought several article to make ease the comfort of the new arrival. However these hopes and dreams  were dashed to the rocks as ijeoma labored on end and the baby was never  to be delivered.
The situation had gone critical after more than 8 hours of laboring, ijeoma was getting exhausted and  weak yet none of the medical staff   and the supposed doctor on duty  was apt enough to come up with a substantial solution ; its now almost 20 hours of labor in the next few hours  ijeoma could pass away cause she was bleeding too and no woman can bear laboring for so long a time, yet no significant decision was being taken.
“The midwives and the nurses  were totally negligent or had no clue as to what they should do they left me laboring in pain and kept introducing some kind of hot concoction into my womb”
“That continued on end until the baby was brutally flushed out of the Amniotic fluid and then  she died instantly”
“And almost immediately I fell unconscious” ijeoma explained
But the most salient question that any lay man would ask is why is it that a cesarean section was not immediately  applied ?
“In a situation like this a cesarean section is generally admitted”  says Anslem  ijeoma’s husband  who returned expecting to meet the new born but was handed over a dead child …..”why they did not apply cesarean  section is what I have found too deep to understand am disgusted with this country.. this is a massive injustice …there is no respect for human life ” he added in his dispirited grief.
No one can clearly fathom out what trespassed during the delivery process and why the cesarean section  was not applied to save life.  So far however what has become apparent is that  the only available staff were very much of a substandard  stuff  and had neither the aptitude or the required skills of birth attendance  staffs. The baby delivered died instantly due to lack of competence and  maybe due to inadequate facilities however the medical staffs claim the doctors were on strike and therefore had not enough doctors to attend to every patience.
“This is a clear case of negligence and it is actionable my child was killed due to negligence and my wife almost died if the labor had persisted” …. “The most painful thing about it all is that my  daughter’s death is preventable and avoidable with just a bit of goodwill”   said Anslem
Incidences like this happen on scale that is unimaginable in Nigeria health institutions ijeoma like many other that hit the headlines including Daramola Bolanle,who died in Alimosho general hospita are part of the grim statistics of our health services
 Nigerian hospitals all across the states are replete  with untold stories of tragic incidents of neglect  and willful dereliction of responsibility. A grim statistics of deaths that are in most cases avoidable.  Maternal and infant morbidity makes the most  depressing  records  of our health system issues. According to figures from the world population prospects Nigeria mortality rate is second Only to India – whose population density is fifteen times higher.   In fact  hospitals in  Nigeria has become the most dangerous place on earth to the  expectant mother as  55000 women die every  year  from  pregnancy and childbirth complication issues. And an estimated   250000 new born die annually.
Most significant reason  underscoring  this high rate of mortality and reckless death of patients  in Nigerian hospitals  has been according to some documentaries related to  poor medical facilities as well as lack of skilled medical personnel. However there remains a major factor that’s not  been  highlighted  enough….  The   power of impunity that overruns  Nigerian institutions. Unlike in the many cities of the world Nigerian medical staffs know fully well that they can always get away with such act of   irresponsibility. Despite so many years of empirical  evidence  of pervasive  recklessness  and outrageous negligence of life on the part  of our medical  institution and staffs not one member has been called to question to account  for the numerous lives that are being wasted . In short our medical institutions are just not accountable for the lives they disrupt.
In civilized nations like the Asians  and  the  Europeans   where lives are valued any form of death is properly investigated and rightfully  attributed  to the  agent  and condemned whenever  necessary . This is followed by a procedure of amendment through  compensations  or grants to repair damages. If hospital and doctors are charged for negligence of mandate then sanity will be restored to Nigerian hospitals.