It was a pathetic event Yesterday. One of the students in my faculty suddenly collapsed and became unconscious. The school health centre had to refer us to the Accident & Emergency Unit of OAUTHC, Ile-Ife. I joined four other student executives in the ambulance as we sped of.
Barely, few minutes to the Emergency Unit, there was a huge traffic on the road. Incredibly, it was presumably a funeral party hosted by one high political chieftain in the community. Cars blocked the one-lane road on all sides. Even with the whirring of the siren, we spent over 20 minutes before we found a way amidst the heavy traffic. I wondered, how on earth would the hospital roads be blocked because of a party. I marveled. We had no option but to come down from the ambulance to ward the traffic.
The lady lying helpless in the ambulance was already looking lifeless as the drip passed into her vein was almost getting exhausted. We spent about 30 minutes on a route that shouldn't take more than 7 minutes. All because some persons were politically celebrating their dead.
On getting to the Emergency Ward, we spent another 10 minutes making a file for the unconscious lady. The 'abiku' personnel in charge insisted that without a file, no doctor will attend to her. We were also asked to proceed to the NHIS office to complete the registration. Unfortunately, the NHIS office was under lock and key. Maybe, they've closed for the day. Who knows?
The nurse who followed us from the University Health Centre suggested that we (faculty executives)should contribute money to buy drugs as nothing could be done to help her. This got us mad and we insisted that a First Aid treatment be given to her, seeing her critical state. Her heartbeat was getting slower. I couldn't believe my ears, when a nurse asked me, "Where is her glove?" Do I look like a doctor? How would you ask me for a glove? Oh! If there are no gloves available, she won't be treated? Is that the new NMA directives? Indeed, our doctors are sick. The drama I witnessed today showed that apart from the theoretical university degrees, most of our health experts are as empty as the oxygen cylinders in OAUTHC.
Almost an hour that she went unconscious, all we witnessed was both traffic and professional insanity. Is that why the mortuary is located next to the Emergency Unit? Our health experts are fast becoming 'mico-buharis'. Probably, many precious lives have been lost due to this topnotch madness in the hospital. Enough is enough! We cannot continue making lives more miserable for ourselves, yet praying for Nigeria.
By Kingsley Ndimele
President, Department Of Agricultural Economics