Following the death of a final year student of faculty of pharmacy named Abidoye Yusuf yesterday, a colleague and friend of the late has this to say.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Its a long story, a long sad story. On Monday 14th of May 2018, I just arrived campus from home. While I was in my faculty(pharmacy) catching up with some folks , I received the late Doyen's call . His voice was pale and he told me he was in the school's health center that he needed me to get some stuffs for him. I had just bought them when he called again to inform me he has being rushed to the Obafemi Awolowo Univeristy Teaching Hospital. So i just had to stay where i was(Students Union Building) so the ambulance could pick me up. When i saw him , he looked very weak and he had jaundice in the eyes and skin. He complained of abdominal pain, vomiting , diarrhea, and hematuria.
We(myself and the nurse at the university health center) had to carry him to the doctors because he had become very weak. The doctors at the hematology clinic of the teaching hospital where he was carried to on seeing him recognized him as he has been regularly attended their clinic and suggested he was carried to SDA(Seventh Day Adventist Hospital) due to the present JOHESU strike and the fact that he was very dehydrated. However, they examined his vital signs and asked a whole lot of questions about his condition and the drugs he was on, so they wrote a very long profile on his condition to help the doctors at the Seventh Day Adventist Hospital before he will be transferred. Meanwhile, a gastroenterologist was fetched and he also examined him meticulously so he wrote down his observations too. They(the hematologist and gastroenterologist) both wrote letters of referral addressing any consultant available at Seventh Day Adventist Hospital. All of that took more than an hour at the OAUTHC and the guy was already complaining that the pain was getting more intense. He was eventually released and was returned to the ambulance. By that time his brother's female friend, Taofeeq already joined us.
When we got to Seventh Day Adventist, he was already in serious pain. First off, the casualty ward was overcrowded and smelt of death. Secondly, his National Health Insurance Scheme was rejected. So we had to pay an emergency bill of #2000 and also get some infusions and materials. I was directed to where to pay but they were not going to attend to him until i made the payment. On getting there, the queue was far longer than i thought, so the payment and all took more than 30 minutes. To my utmost shock, the materials to be bought include -IV set, 2 500ml (Normal saline, 5%Dextrose Saline, Ringer's lactate), needle and syringe , and some pairs of gloves amounted to be #5,210 which is overly expensive being conversant with the prices of these stuffs in pharmacies being a pharmacy student. I paid the emergency bill so he would be attended and eventually we were able to afford the infusions.
However, the system of procuring drugs was irritatingly bureaucratic and took too much time. When the infusion was brought, one of the nurses who was one of the only 2 people who seemed to care about his state started him on the infusion. Meanwhile, a student doctor had already circled out the tests to be carried out , about 10 of them which amounted to be #15,060. At that time, the nurse from the health centre had to leave because she had to return the school ambulance So it was clearly we had to wait for his dad who was already coming from Ibadan. I returned to the casualty ward and Late Abidoye Yusuf was already in tears complaining that no doctor would attend to him. I looked around to plead with the doctors(because there was only 1 doctor in that ward) to come check him. It was that time i was told another test had to be carried out first before the doctor would be able to attend to him. That sounded like nonsense to me as my friend was dying and NOBODY even took time to check the medical profile and letters sent by his doctors in OAUTHC.
The only thing i regret doing is not advising his dad to move him out of that hospital. When he came we paid the fee for the test and they did it in the lab. We were told to come back an hour later for the result. Some minutes later , our friend and colleague, Gafar arrived. It took no time for him to observe and complain about the flaws of the hospital. We went for the result and his PCV was 9%(meanwhile he had a blood transfusion a week before) and also the WBC count was about 48,000+ an extremely high value which indicated an infection. The doctor checked the result and ordered for 3pints of blood.
There was no donor but the people at the lab pointed to a man they called 'commercial donor'. He was going to sell screened blood to us. So we bought 2 pints, #10000 for the blood and #12000 for the screening. I don’t know if the doctor checked his history at any point but he ordered a nurse to start him on blood. The doctor left work about 5pm and only the student doctor was left in the ward. He was moved to a better ward later in the night, he had been asleep since evening. We stayed with him throughout the night while his dad left for his sister's place to get what he would need the next day. He woke up and he was stable, we talked and joked about some stuffs, then he ate. Only 30 minutes later, the abdominal pain returned and he didn’t leave until he vomited all he ate. Twice, we had heated discussions with the nurse on duty . The first was when he complained of joint pain, and she injected him with diclofenac. We told her he had not eaten throughout the day and ulcer was probably while he was on the hospital bed in the first place. The second was when he complained of itching after the blood was given, and the student doctor wrote a prescription of IM hydrocortisone, we told her she was supposed to exercise caution in administering immunodepressants in infections, yet he was eventually injected with it. I even went to the length of asking when a doctor would properly assess his condition and tell us what was wrong. They told us there would be a ward around by morning, and that we should give the doctors our complains that time. I waited till around 8am when the dad was back, there was no doctor. I had to leave to settle some things in school but my other friend Gafar waited till around 10:30 , yet no doctor. It was when i was back in the night that i was told the doctors came in the evening. They had reviewed his case, moved him to another ward, ordered 2 more pints of blood, some antibiotics and antacids .But yet, nothing was said about his state or what caused it. He was half asleep that time and only spoke briefly. I left , sadly that was the last time i was going to see him. In the night, i was told he was on oxygen and his stomach was swollen while he was continually given pentacozine and diclofenac injections at intervals.
Gafar's call woke me the next morning some minutes to 9am, that our friend was gone. I just stood expressionless for some minutes trying to understand the weight of that statement. I got to Seventh Day Adventist in no time and i saw the father in tears. While the clearance was done, we still had to pay #69,000 before the corpse would be released. That fueled enough anger in me, we paid them to kill him. It was insane!!!!!
It is a sad irony that the one (JOHESU) supposedly fighting for us took one of us. It is more sad that our hospitals are deathbeds and are filled with lackadaisical, inexperienced or incompetent hands. He had been in worse conditions and survived. Just in October He was diagnosed of Hepatitis B and Chronic Kidney Disease, yet he was sound and living fine due to proper treatment
Like i said, this is one long sad story. It’s a pity!!
Written by Akanmu Oluwasanya
Part 5 Pharmacy student, OAU
Edited & Truncated by Farombi Oluwaseun