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The Death Camps Called Government Hospitals in Nigeria! Read the Story of How Ekene Lost His Dad

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f23I didn’t realise how bad our public health sector is until after a very painful sojourn at two Government hospitals recently. It still feels like a nightmare and I wish someone would just pinch me out of this trance. I would like to share my experience of the longest 3 days of my life.

My dad’s health had deteriorated in recent times. He wasn’t breathing well anymore and someone had informed my mum there was a specialist at The Lagos State Teaching Hospital (LASUTH). I rushed him over there from General Hospital, Ikorodu. On the way, I remember my dad contemplating stopping by the house first or going straight to the hospital. Little did we know.

We arrived at the ‘MEDICAL EMERGENCY’ ward of the hospital. I observed that the matrons were like gods there. They moved at their own pace and you dared not challenge them. You had to be extra nice if you wanted to be listened to. I doubt if any of them understood the meaning of the word ‘emergency’. My dad was hardly breathing at this time and I just wanted him to be attended to. He was finally given a bed after about an hour and a consultant doing a ward round came to examine him about an hour or two after.

A doctor from the ear, nose and throat (ENT) department also came to examine him as this was a respiratory problem. You could see he struggled to breathe and you could hear him breathing from a distance. The doctors had agreed that they had to have a tracheotomy on my dad to ease his breathing. The consultant asked to carry out some series of tests while the ENT doctor asked for a CT Scan from a particular diagnostic lab outside the hospital at Oshodi even though there were places closer where we could have it done. He tried frantically to get us there but it was on a Sunday and they were closed till Monday. He later gave us a form designed by the lab with their letterhead and his name as referral. My dad was placed on Oxygen. He was clearly in pain.

I arrived at the hospital before 7am the next morning to see that everything was done as soon as possible so he could come out of the pain he was going through. I realized I had a couple of papers in my hands, handed to my mum by one of the doctors for the tests but was at a loss at what next to do. I kept asking questions and walking around, as that was the only way to get things done. It saddened my heart that quite a number of patients couldn’t afford to pay for these tests and you had to pay for them before it could be done for the doctors to diagnose you. None of them was free except for the HIV test. I needed to also take my dad for the CT scan, so one of the doctors wrote to book for one of the ambulances to take him there as it was a policy that no patient on admission could leave the hospital without the hospital ambulance taking the patient. We booked for it at 7am. When going for a CT scan of the Neck and chest like my dad was billed for, the patient is not supposed to eat or drink anything before it’s done.

I had seen the different state governors launching lots of ambulances so I was certain we would get one as soon as possible. The first reality hit me when I heard they didn’t have enough ambulances in the hospital and that it may take a while before the ambulance could get to our turn, as there was a list of other patients that also needed it. Only one ambulance service was available. In fact, one of the patients had booked for one since Saturday (2 days before). What made it worse was the fact that even though they didn’t have an ambulance to take a patient from the emergency ward for some very important tests that is needed for a procedure, we were also not allowed to bring in an ambulance to take him out, because it was against the hospital policy.
I couldn’t believe my ears as I watched my dad in pain. The doctors told me there was nothing they could do till we had done all the tests. They also could not do anything about the policy as it came from above. The diagnostic centre even had ambulances and nurses, but they were not allowed to come pick patients.

I finally got one at about 3:30pm but by this time, he had eaten and the lab wouldn’t do the test. The hospital, which said that they make a nurse accompany the patient, did not get a nurse to go with us. They got someone they call a ‘Facilitator’ whose job is to help you with information concerning the hospital procedures, to go with us. She didn’t even stay with my dad but sat in front with the driver. Even the blood samples could not be taken, as I couldn’t get the doctor on duty to come extract it from him. The doctor showed up in the evening and could not collect the blood samples as it was only done earlier in the day. That was how the whole day passed by and we achieved nothing but watch my dad in pain even though I had spent the whole day on my feet trying to get the health workers to do their job. I had paid for all the tests and the procedure as well, yet could not get any service. I had to make friends with the ambulance driver and begged him to come early the next day so that we could go for the CT scan then.

I arrived the hospital earlier the next morning (10th of May, 2016), not knowing it would be the longest day of my life. I begged a doctor to help take the blood samples and took them to the labs myself. I went to the ambulance office and stayed there till they got fuel for the ambulance. It was a period of fuel scarcity. I had begged my dad not to take any water or food, as we wanted to make sure nothing would impede the procedure. As a 68-year-old man, I knew it was difficult for him but we were ready.

We finally made it to Oshodi for the CT scan. My dad had been on oxygen all the while, as that was the only way he could breathe. I also pleaded with the workers at the blood labs to hurry so the results could be out on time. We were ready by 2pm for the operation. The HOD of the ENT department had come in to examine my dad earlier in the day and was upset that they waited that long to perform the procedure after seeing him in so much pain. He asked why they were asking for a scan first for such an emergency when that was just the first in a series of procedures to get him healed. At this time, all I wanted was to get it done with and see my dad free. The HOD was going to take part in the operation. After waiting for a while for the theatre to be ready, he left at about 5:30pm and asked the other doctors to go on with it. The doctors had given us a long list of materials they would need for the surgery, which we bought. Nothing was left out. You would hear that health care is free for the elderly and children in Lagos State hospitals. NOT TRUE. You pay for everything to the very last pin.

The theatre didn’t send for my dad till 8pm. My dad had not eaten the whole day. I still remember him begging us to give him a little water that day. We kept pleading with him to hold on. I stood at the entrance of the theatre from 3pm waiting for someone to come pick my dad. The doctors finally sent someone with a stretcher on wheels and to my utter dismay; he was a cleaner at the hospital. It didn’t mean much to me at this time, as all I wanted was my dad in the theatre. The cleaner was even chatting with a friend on the way. I wondered if it meant anything to him that he was going to pick a patient at the emergency ward that had been waiting the whole day.
The Medical Emergency ward had two entrances and the one that had a path leading to other buildings in the hospital was locked. It took the guard a while to get it open. To make it worse, he was coming to pick someone who had been on oxygen, without an oxygen tube. He was to be accompanied by a nurse from the emergency ward, but there was none available even when he was being put on the stretcher. When we were ready to move him to the theater, the nurse was busy chatting with her colleagues. I couldn’t believe my eyes. My dad was without an oxygen mask, as we had to rush him to the theatre to get him back on oxygen.

When we arrived at the theatre, the cleaner dumped my dad by the side and yelled in Yoruba “I have brought the patient”. We were not allowed to go beyond a barrier but we could see further. It took the matrons about 3 minutes to come out. I pleaded with them that he had just been brought out of oxygen and needed to be back on oxygen. They laughed at me and one of them mockingly labeled me a ‘junior doctor’. The other matron then said we had to pay. I told her I had paid for it at the ENT ward but didn’t have a problem with that as I had my ATM card with me but needed my dad in. She then looked at him and said “oh! He even has beards. How do you expect us to operate on him with the beards?” (He hadn’t shaved for the few days in which his health had deteriorated.) And how were we supposed to know that? She then asked us to go look for shaving sticks at that time of the night. My brother had to dash out to search for shaving sticks to buy. At this time, my dad was just left by the side like a piece of meat. I quickly went to pay for the procedure. After my brother made it back with the shaving sticks. They started shaving him and even said the shaving sticks were not sharp. He had to go look for another set of shaving sticks while they just ignored my dad. The nurse that accompanied us from the emergency ward was just observing and couldn’t even make a case to get him on oxygen.

He was later wheeled in for the operation. We really felt relieved. “Finally” we all said to ourselves. After a few minutes, one of the doctors rushed to us and said they would not be able to go ahead with the operation anymore. We were all in shock and wondered what had happened. He said that his oxygen level had gone very low and that he was too weak to have the operation. At this point, we just couldn’t believe our ears. My brother and I rushed into the theatre. They wheeled him out and again, without oxygen. One of the doctors then asked the matron in charge of the theatre for a mobile oxygen cylinder for him to use on his way back to the emergency ward. Her response was “which one did you bring when you were coming? Please excuse me”. They asked the cleaner to take my dad back to the emergency ward. One of the assistants almost broke my dad’s hand as he wheeled him out whilst talking and not concentrating, my dad’s hand had stuck to the door and he didn’t realize it. I wished someone would wake me up from this nightmare but it was my reality like that of a lot of Nigerians.

By the time we got back to the emergency ward, the door was locked and we got upset as we were rushing to get him back on oxygen. We asked the gateman to please hurry up and he even started ranting before he went to get the key. By the time we got in to where his bed was he had run out of oxygen and passed on. That was when the nurses and doctors started rushing to try to resuscitate him. They brought an oxygen mask and started administering CPR but it was too late. My mum had suddenly become a widow and my siblings and I; fatherless. We just lost our esteemed father who died like he was nothing when he meant the whole world to us and other people.

It’s painful losing a husband and father, but what hurts more is the way we lost him. The hospital treated him like a piece of rubbish. My experience at LASUTH is one I would never forget. I saw more people at the wards die in my 3 days than I had seen in my whole 38 years on earth. People died like it was in fashion. I would never forget a little boy who was constantly in pain as his parents watched helplessly. I would go to meet the nurses to please come attend to him and they would say I shouldn’t mind him. I arrived that Tuesday morning to hear he had passed on. I later heard all he needed was a blood transfusion and his parents couldn’t afford it but our politicians are carting away billions. The nurses and matrons are constantly rude to patients and would even yell at them sometimes. I can’t remember the number of times I went to remind them that the drip of a patient was finished and needs to be changed. They were mainly good at chatting with themselves at a corner were they sat all the time. For crying out loud, this is an emergency ward with the bold inscription at the entrance ‘MEDICAL EMERGENCY’ but they hardly treated anything as such. This is a profession where 5 seconds could be a lot of time. If some people had 5 seconds they could have been alive today. But they have no idea how important time is in saving lives. A lot of those deaths only happened because those people lived in Nigeria. Yea! That was their only crime. This is the reason the government officials in Nigeria send their kids to school abroad and travel outside the country to treat a headache. We need a real CHANGE.

During the 3 days I spent there, I observed a lot of things. I could understand that some of their departments are understaffed and they didn’t have some of the funding they require. I can completely understand that. But what does it take to show care? Just to care like they are supposed to. When you care for people, it shows in your actions. These people took an oath to save lives in their profession but are doing the opposite. That is not to say I did not see or notice one or two nurses and doctors who gave their all and were very professional and polite as they did their job but it’s difficult to see their good efforts in a sea of wickedness. And with time, some of them are either frustrated out or forced to join in the neglect of care. The hospital has a team known as the monitoring team who as supposed to monitor all these things but they are just as bad. All they do is simply join the matrons and nurses and gist away. They should all be fired in my opinion as they barely do anything.

My father’s name was Peter Ezekolie Mekwunye. I love my dad. He’s not only been my first hero but someone that has played a significant role in my little success in life. Like most dads if not all, he’s not perfect and I have learnt from his mistakes too. But this article is not just about my dad. I already lost him and sadly cannot bring him back. But thousands of other dads and other people would be visiting these hospitals. Are we going to allow the same thing to happen to them?
It’s also not just about me fighting LASUTH, as you can see from my heading that it happens in all government hospitals. As a matter of fact, LASUTH has one of the ‘best’ services for a government hospital and because the family did all we could, my dad got a lot more service than the average patient gets. So if this could still be happening, you can begin to imagine the decadence in our health sector and what it’s like in many government hospitals

I observed a few issues and bottlenecks in the operations of the hospital and based on my professional and personal experience, I would like to give some recommendations that could help reduce the number of casualties in our government hospitals.

1. Re-orientation in the health sector
One of the first things I realized was that death didn’t mean a thing to the doctors and nurses there anymore. This includes the gatemen, cleaners and all the workers. Their hearts have become hardened as they see these things happen on a regular basis. They need a re-orientation. I cannot understand how for the love of God, people in the business of savings lives can be this callous and unmoved.

2. Creation of a Quality Assurance Unit
There should be a unit that would be known to all patients as they come in where they can provide feedback on the quality of professionalism received nurses, matrons or any health worker. The health workers have their nametags on their uniforms and can easily be identified. The body that would handle the disciplinary actions should the health personnel be found wanting, should not be purely staff of the hospitals or else they would not be fair. If employees know they would be punished or sacked for such actions, they would change their attitude. This would be backed up, by proper training for them on how to relate with patients. They really need it and those that refuse to learn would have to leave the system.

3. Investigations on death cases in the hospital
Every death should be thoroughly investigated. If the nurses and doctors know that they can get fired or even go to prison for death of any patient caused by negligence on their part, they would change their ways. None of all those deaths I saw was investigated. They just move on like nothing happened. This has to stop and proper experts in the field should be able to ascertain the causes. I know it’s a law to investigate deaths but it never happens. We have to take this serious.

4. Review of policies to ensure operational efficiency
The hospital has to realize that time is of essence when it comes to emergencies and if they can’t provide enough ambulances, should allow other ambulances render services to this patients to help save their lives. The diagnostic centre even had ambulances but was not allowed to pick patients up from the hospital.

5. Effective Monitoring
There has to be a proper monitoring team at every level. At the wards and cheaters to see that procedures are properly done and everyone is doing their job, as they should.

6. Inter-departmental Collaboration
There was no synergy between the different departments. E.g. the Medical emergency ward, the ENT department and the theatre. Each one played God when it came to their departments without realizing that if one failed, it would affect the others. Lives are constantly being played with every day and they have to learn to value lives. I also strongly recommend they hire an operations management expert to help with the system flow, as synergy is very important.

7. Effective Leadership
Most, if not all the Chief Medical Directors are appointment based on their academic qualification and papers written. It takes much more than that to run an organization. They have to be chosen based on their leadership and organizational skills because at that level is about how you work with people. If our government hospitals were made to work with only funds they generate, they would realise that these patients are customers and they would treat them better.

8. Failure in oversight functions
The Senators, House of Rep members, State House of Assemblies, Minister of Health and all the commissioners of health must also share in this blame. They have oversight functions and their lapses are partly responsible for these deaths. Everyone has to wake up to his or her responsibilities.

I miss my dad a lot. He was a fun loving person. He was fearless and always stood for the truth. He always wanted to help and had a heart of Gold. He was a footballer as a youth and loved to watch football till he lost his sight about 5 years ago. But he still loved to discuss it. We argued a lot about football. He was a Chelsea FC fan. These past few days have been my worst. I smile at times but there are buckets of tears behind that smile. I can’t imagine what every 23rd of December would be like for my siblings and me as we have spent every one of them celebrating his birthday. I can’t fight for him anymore but I can, for many others. We can’t continue losing people because a few others refused to do the job they are paid to do.

We call on the senate committee on health to please address these issues urgently and the Minister of health and all the commissioners of health in all the states to rise to this challenge. This is the kind of change we need.

We would like others who have suffered similar fatality or support the cause to join in the conversation till something is done about it across the nation. Please use the hash tag #valuenigerians to start a discussion and share your own story on our social media handles on Facebook – Value Nigerian, Twitter – @valuenigerians and Instagram – Valuenigerians so that we can drive the numbers to cause a change.

Kindly visit our website www.valuenigerians.org to share your story and pictures.

Ekene Som Mekwunye is a Filmmaker and Photographer. His short film titled Oblivious won an AMVCA for best short film in 2015 as well as a few other accolades. He also produced the short film 'The Encounter' that has gained international recognition as well s a review on Newsweek. He has worked for Mnet and MTV in the past before starting Riverside Productions which is responsible for creating shows like My Big Nigerian Wedding and DMC world DJ championship. He has a degree in Insurance from the University of Lagos and also studied filmmaking at NYFA Universal studios in Los Angeles. He is presently enrolled for an Executive MBA program at the Lagos Business school.

109 Comments

  1. Olivia

    June 7, 2016 at 5:55 pm

    This is so sad.

  2. X-Factor

    June 7, 2016 at 5:56 pm

    Whoa….So sad, Ekene Please accept my condolence
    Nigeria go survive!

  3. Jamila

    June 7, 2016 at 6:02 pm

    Hello Ekene,
    I’m really sorry about what you had to go through and I pray you and your family receive the grace to deal with your loss. May your dad’s soul rest in peace. Amen

    Medical negligence is a huge issue in Nigeria and I sometimes fear that our culture of “it is God’s will” enables it. Many medical institutions in other parts of the world act professionally because there are consequences for negligence. Hospitals are afraid of potential lawsuits, apart from the huge financial loss they suffer, their reputation suffers as well. Back home, no one sues, we accept death and permanent injury as “God’s will.” Many will tell families to “let it go, It will not resurrect the dead”……

    I agree that litigation is expensive and can be cumbersome but i believe laws suits may play an indirect role in improving our healthcare system. If a hospital has more than 50 lawsuits with people seeking huge sums in damages, medical directors will sit up, staff will be cautioned and will be more circumspect in taking action. When the medical sector understands that there are sanctions attached to outright negligence, they will re-evaluate how they treat patients.

    I know there are other issues involved such as questionable qualifications, lack of equipments but i believe that developing a suing culture will go a long way in getting us on the right path. I take medical negligence very personal because i have had persons close to me become victims. I am a lawyer and medical negligence is one of the cases I agree to handle pro bono. We need to demand better with whatever limited redress options are avalable for now. I agree that suing will not bring a loved one back but the implications of demanding accountability and enforcing consequences may save another person in the future.

  4. mz bee

    June 7, 2016 at 6:03 pm

    I lost my mother @ LASUTH,very long and painful incident.The healthcare system in Nigeria especially in public institutions is cruel.Dr ikuerowo God is watching u

  5. Luvnaija

    June 7, 2016 at 6:07 pm

    My heart is in shreds! It is same story even in private hospitals. My hubby was admitted recently in Buddo clinic Ajah and what I saw in terms of hygiene ,nursing personnel attitude hmmmm. I swore never to visit there for a broken finger nail! Then I started googling good hospitals within Ajah and stumbled on a harrowing story about Doren Clinic written by Lola Essien! Interesting read I tell y’all.
    The truth is life has become so meaningless in Nigeria that the people in authority don’t care anymore, NMA highly politicized! This is the reason govt officials run abroad to treat common catarrh. We are surging in Nigeria only by Gods grace.
    A state of emergency needs to be declared in the health sector as this impacts on life directly! Even our president with 3.5billion naira Aso Rock hospital budget still ran away to treat ear infection!
    Nigeria needs a revolution- mental, psychological and otherwise. May your dads soul rest in peace!

    • Puzzles

      June 7, 2016 at 6:57 pm

      Arecthey any good hospitals around Ajah? I sincerely doubt it. Doren and Budo hospitals are fine on the outside but horrible on the inside

    • AANUOLUWAPO OYEDELE

      June 8, 2016 at 11:31 am

      Doren is okay to some extent sha, its just that they lack doctors, you have to wait for an hour to see a doc

    • Dominic

      June 12, 2016 at 12:40 pm

      The negligence described by ekene exist even in private medical centers. My father died at Excel medical center in Dolphin Estate ikoyi. Dr ejike Ferdinand orji and the team of quacks did a prostrate operation without the guide of an expert. When we did the autopsy, we discovered that the bladder was not properly irrigated which caused the blood to cloth and caused his death. Just like that. The more vexing thing is that there is a wicked collaborative solidarity amongst practitioners when the deed has been done.

  6. Debbie

    June 7, 2016 at 6:11 pm

    This is just sad.

  7. Madam Tf

    June 7, 2016 at 6:15 pm

    I read your story with tears in my eyes. May the Soul of your father Rest in Peace. It is very sad but your experience is what you get in any Government Hospital. In fact all government institutions. It baffles me when I see the way the Doctors and Nurses behave. They act like demi – gods.

    . I have bin to a Government Hospital and it is disheartening that people who are trained to care for lives, careless about them. You see people sleeping n the corridors, on the floors, you pay for everything. Bed space and all. The Doctors come to work after they have attended to the patients in their private hospitals. They only respond after the patient dies. Many times I wonder what is the way forward for an average Nigerian who cannot afford to travel to the Uk, USA or India for treatment. Once again I sympathize with you.

    • Mz Socially Awkward....

      June 7, 2016 at 10:46 pm

      You see this one sentence that you’ve said here – “They only respond after the patient dies”? That’s what particularly enraged my soul about this tragedy.

      What sort of witches and demons suddenly discover where the oxygen is after patient stops breathing?? If they don’t bloody want to save lives, what the BLOODY HELL are they doing working in a damn HOSPITAL???? And I’m sure a few imbeciles would have told the family to “take heart” after Mr. Mekwunye died. Who employs these people, who is the ultimate head in LASUTH to hold responsible????

      And we love to pride ourselves about having more “brotherly love” than “those unfeeling Westerners”, while we keep avoiding the truth. Yes, the westerner won’t smile at you and invite you to eat Efo with his family on a Sunday BUT he/she is conscious (constantly conscious) that there are standards (standards, ohhhhhh! A very foreign word in nigeria…) expected of the roles they carry out. Especially in sensitive fields like medicine, law enforcement, etc…… Aren’t we tired of our ever shameful inefficiency??

      Ekene, I can’t console you – only The Good Lord can. I’m very sorry to read of your dad’s inhumane treatment and the negligence that took him to an early grave but praying that this death will not have been in vain. Keep broadcasting this, don’t get tired, oh! It must be addressed by the powers that be… And may God heal all of the family of your pain and grief.

    • zeem

      June 13, 2016 at 7:57 pm

      You wont believe that the hospital hardly possesses an instrument called “gauge” without which nurses cant administer the oxygen…………….,because its so expensive. It costs a whooping N5000 (Five thoudsand naira) !!!!!!!!!. My brother, abeg sue the stinking hospital!!!!!!!

  8. AA

    June 7, 2016 at 6:18 pm

    If only the appropriate authorities will read this and act on it….. may his soul RIP.

  9. person

    June 7, 2016 at 6:23 pm

    So sorry for the loss of your dear dad. Nigeria has a long way to go. One gets tired of reading these sad stories. When will change come?

  10. Ethio

    June 7, 2016 at 6:36 pm

    does Nigeria even have a health sector? look at the president jetting off to London because of ear trouble, i bet our leaders go to Germany bcos of headache. total negligence in every sector in this damned country and what of the health practitioners especially the nurses? they can cuss the heck out of you when you beckon “too much” for their help, I’m a witness to this one

  11. Anon

    June 7, 2016 at 6:40 pm

    Please accept my condolence.My sister almost died in the so called 5 star hospital in vi…..just terrible..I have a benign tumor and am so scared of coming back to Nigeria because of it..Nhs is not perfect but it works.

  12. Bey

    June 7, 2016 at 6:42 pm

    So sorry for your loss.
    Moral of d unfortunate story, pls DO NOT at any point take ur loved one’s to dis death camp called hospitals.
    An ex colleague of mine had a brain tumour, det messed d poor guy up at UCH or whatever it’s called. A vibrant young man got paralysed in half his body bcos of their incompetence, dey messed d whole brain surgery up. He went to d hospital being whole as it was a benign tumour or smthn. He was just having headache but no paralysis.
    They corrected d surgery eventually in India. And he’s recovering now but they did a lot of damage. He’s now doing psysio to regain his mobility.

  13. so sad

    June 7, 2016 at 6:49 pm

    As a Nigerian trained medical doctor who recently migrated to the states I can’t help but shake my head for the Nigerian health care system and I agree as stated above that until some form of accountability is in place, the lackadaisical attitude of health professionals will continue, and the rot is so deep in the system that you can’t blame those who run abroad for simple catarrh, a situation where a consultant refers a patient to his own private practice and his resident doctors have to go work in his private practice to pass leaves the head of the team with little moral right to correct the other members of the team, or is it the percentage that goes to the doctor’s pocket at the end of the month from referals to the diagnostic centres leading to intentionally demand for needless investigations at locations faraway from the hospital that can be talked abt?
    All I can say is God have mercy, first time I stepped into an emergency here, I didn’t even have an insurance nor a social security no yet but was attended to quickly and efficiently, had all my investigations done in less than 2hrs, had my treatments, wasn’t sent out to go buy anything I was shocked and everyone was polite and professional, though when I got the bill weeks later I nearly fainted but the financial services unit reduced it, we have a long way to go o, may God help us, sorry for the long epistle.

  14. Itseme

    June 7, 2016 at 6:58 pm

    I am so sorry for your loss. I am a medical doctor trained in Nigeria and what you have described is the truth. I don’t know what to do to change it. It is frustrating working in Nigeria.

  15. Onyie

    June 7, 2016 at 7:01 pm

    Like Jamila said, we need to develop a suing culture in this country. Maybe the hospitals both public and private will sit up when faced with billions of naira in lawsuits.

    I’m so sorry for the loss of your dad.

    I lost my little brother on good Friday. He didn’t have to die – he was just 14years old. But the doctors were negligent. They didn’t carry out the right tests and didn’t respond fast enough when they realized it was a serious problem. He didn’t have to die at all.
    He died at National hospital Abuja.

    I pray everyday for none of my family members and friends to fall ill in this country. We don’t have money to go abroad for treatment and going to a health facility in this country for a serious illness always almost results in death. I swear if I had the money i would sue that doctor and the hospital for my brother’s death.

    Anyway I apologize again for the loss of your dad.

  16. debz

    June 7, 2016 at 7:01 pm

    WOW i was crying as i read this! I am so sorry for your loss. May God give you and your family the strength to get through these times.

    Sigh i have said it and will keep saying it. I hate Nigeria!!! I know that me and my family are blessed to be out of that country and i will never go back for nothing! I am tired of praying! ahn ahn. I know there’s evil everywhere and no country is perfect but the souls of man seem to be especially wicked in that country Nigeria! Why? after all this years are things still like this if its not the devil himself working inside the hearts of most Nigerians??

    I’m done praying. And i’m sorry for the few people who a good but stuck in that place. May God help you out of the bondage.

    I don’t even know what else to say. So pitiful

  17. Bene

    June 7, 2016 at 7:05 pm

    Wow sorry for your loss. But I’m certain he had a respiratory track infection which didn’t need an operation. Cos I had the same experience years back and I was admitted in Lagoon clinic for few days.
    The truth is government sectors generally are nothing to write home about. You have to pay people bribe for them to do their jobs. It really sad.

  18. Chi's baby

    June 7, 2016 at 7:06 pm

    This piece brought tears to my eyes. I do not know you and I don’t understand your pain but I pray that your hearts be healed and your family receives strength to go through this difficult times.
    I’m extremely sad and disappointed that this type of negligence still happens in our hospitals. In Oby Ezekwesili’s words ‘we value our pipelines more than human lives’. This needs to stop. Is it a crime to be Nigerian? We deserve better and we need to demand it.

  19. Bey

    June 7, 2016 at 7:08 pm

    Poster sorry for what I am about to say o. But from the minute they were being funny about that whole Ambulance thing I would have taken my father away from there honestly.
    I know u are in pain right now. Accept my condolences, once again. We all can learn from this.
    There are a number of good private hospitals in dis country. This man suffered too much. It’s disheartening.
    I can remember years ago I had a tooth abscess. Went to a crappy dentist I was assigned on my work Health Insurance. They didn’t do d root canal well and it got infected.
    My whole face was swollen, I cldnt open my mouth, cldnt eat, cld only take liquids. I was put on IV antibiotics didn’t work.
    So d wack dentist consulted an ENT from Luth, dat one said I wld do a surgery to drain d puss. I was damn scared.
    Was in d process of doing d surgery, doc and I dressed. When my squad came thru; my mum and sisters. They started shoutn at d reception and got me out of there ASAP. That ppl dat messed up my teeth, and I’m still here.
    I was taken to anoda hospital, where d Doc is a US doc that just came to consult and is setting up his own clinic.
    With 2 injections, I was fine. Immediately stuff bursted in my mouth and all d puss came out.
    And d incompetent mofos wanted to do a surgery for me and leave a drain in my throat for 2days to drain d puss.
    With a steroid injection and smthn else I was healed.
    2 bloody injections dat worked b4 I even left d hospital.

  20. Tosin

    June 7, 2016 at 7:08 pm

    I wish this would actually trend. It is best not to be sick / ill in Nigeria 🙁 and we can repair this. It’s not undoable.

  21. Tosin

    June 7, 2016 at 7:08 pm

    I wish this would actually trend. It is best not to be sick / ill in Nigeria 🙁 and we can repair this.

  22. canigetsomeintelligencehere!!!

    June 7, 2016 at 7:15 pm

    Ekene, I am truly sorry for your loss. I could feel your pain through your words and I can only hope and pray that the good Lord will comfort your family during this difficult period.

    Two things that scare me the most in Nigeria are the lack of security and adequate health care services. Even scarier is the fact that the kind of service you described above is not limited to government hospitals but private hospitals as well and I mean even supposedly upscale hospitals.

    I recently had very terrible experiences with a private hospital in Lagos. BN may not publish my comment if I mention the name but the main hospital is in VI while it has a branch in Lekki Phase 1. Given its status as a specialist hospital, I had expected service that would be above par by Nigerian standards but sadly this hasn’t been the case.

    I had planned to write a complaint about the unsatisfactory service I received particularly from a female pediatrician who has to be the least compassionate pediatrician in the world but I thought why bother, not like they would do anything about it. However, reading this has stirred up that anger in me again and I am inspired to send in my complaint. Hopefully, something will be done about the quality of service we receive from those we entrust our lives to hoping that they will be true to their cause, do the right thing and not treat patients like they mean nothing.

    I know it may not be easy for doctors because they are not adequately remunerated but while you still choose to do this delicate job please do your best and do it right.

  23. Weezy

    June 7, 2016 at 7:16 pm

    Ekene, I read this story in shock. It is very brave of you to write this, and you should keep writing about what happened.

    I am so sorry this happened to your father. The hospital killed him! It does not matter if LASUTH is supposed to be “the best”. We need to hold them to a higher standard. Sue their asses.

    My advice to you is to find a respectable lawyer, maybe one affiliated with an NGO – someone who cares about the case and recognizes that it is a way for them to make a name for themselves, and will reduce their fee. Put together a fundraising campaign on Indiegogo, and SUE the hospital for negligence and for killing your dad.

    It will be difficult, but its the only way to make these people change. And you won’t know if you don’t try. If you word the campaign very well, you may be able to get some support both within Nigeria and from the diaspora. If you need some advice on this, please leave your email and I will get in touch with you.

    • dj

      June 10, 2016 at 9:29 am

      We cannot be all hating on the medical profession.we should rather have the government of this so called country to blame.they have politicised everything, including the health sector.it pains me when people like you talk about this things.what happened to fundamental rights of many nigerians that have been trampled upon?what do u do abt it?look at child abuse,trafficking and all of that.what have you been doing about it.No you wont do any thing because there is no fee attached.you are a problem to nigeria.your mentality is wack. The abroad you are talking about,have you seen the structure of management,how it operates and the policies behind them.do you think the doctors there ar hungry.no.they have good working environment with availability of facilities.they don’t have to fight with the nurses or lab scientist or pharmacist over who is to head the hospital.its only in nigeria a doctor will prescribe a drug and a pharmacist will change the prescription.the medical professionals are well taken care of .health is a top priority over there.when the head is corupt d people suffer.I sympathise with him and am not in support of the lukewarm attitude towards emergencies.at thesame tme u would understand with me dat people need to have job satisfaction without which your full potential will be limited. We need enabling environments in our hospitals to work.have you ask yourself why is that nigerians are among the best doctors in the UK snd the US?I don’t blame you.probably you don’t need equipments to work.it all brings me to dis conclusion nigeria is a sad country and unless we change our mentality we are going nowhere.

    • anonymous

      June 14, 2016 at 11:05 pm

      God bless you sir/ma..people fail to recognise that majrity of the faults in our health sector are derived from our government..its really unfortunate that they don’t realise that doctors are understaffed,overworked and underpaid..they have not put themselves in the shoes of those that are blaming..many of them talking may not even be better in their respective fields than the doctors they are blaming.

  24. i no send

    June 7, 2016 at 7:24 pm

    This story is one of thousands …negligence …The rot in the system dates to about the late 80s into 90s and beyond ..i keep asking our heartless leaders if they believe emergencies are only for the poor masses..i know several politicians who also died because when their own “emergency” happened they were taken to these same clinics….one in particular may have lived if he had assess to emergency first aid instead … time that was used to arrange for a foreign air ambulance his case had past the point of no return…….what will it cost for us to have at least one major trauma centre in at least very geopolitical zone to start with..

  25. 345Cash

    June 7, 2016 at 7:43 pm

    So sorry about your loss.
    If only it could bring your dad back.
    I couldn’t continue after you started narrating the longest day, the supposed day of the operation.
    As much as i believe in Nigeria…heck, i don’t. I need to get out of here asap.
    May God grant your dad eternal rest. And to your mum…No one deserves to be a widow like this. Please take heart. This government does not care for any one life.
    I recently told my friend who was supporting the APC government that we need to get the looters and shoot them all. He said bad blood. I mean. When these hospitals hear Ambode is coming, they begin to speak their local languages and the hospitals pretend to act well.
    Why is this country turning into some sort of fraud?
    I wish we could sue them for real.
    Most importantly, i pray your dad is resting in the bosom of God. Because if you think about it, i lost my dad too to reckless health care, if you truly believe in the resurrection and eternal life and you are convinced your dad made heaven, you begin to live like someone who knows this world is passing with Buhari and co and one day in heaven is like a thousand years on earth.
    Sorry for the epistle.

  26. Ada

    June 7, 2016 at 7:51 pm

    Why are Nigerian nurses/ matrons so mean? is that what they teach them in Nursing school? we all know these doctors and nurses are not paid as well as they should be but there are certain occupations were money cannot be the main priority.

  27. Ijebujesha

    June 7, 2016 at 8:09 pm

    Nigeria is a cursed country- you can call me names or say whatever. There are only 2 solutions involved= we either break up or go back to the era of regions. We have to divide it into more manageable units. We are too disorganized and too wicked as a people to run a unitary system. May God grant your late dad eternal rest and keep the family strong and well.

  28. Bode

    June 7, 2016 at 8:19 pm

    Please go to twitter and hashtag #JusticeForMekwunye All the culpable LASU staff must not go unpunished. If we don’t have money to go treat ear infections at London, thank God for technology, we can shout and demand justice so that another person won’t fall a victim of these kinda incidence. Please go to twitter and tweet #JusticeForMekwunye to Gov Ambode. Let’s force him to investigate this Issue and sack all culpable.. Not everyday, we leave them to God.

  29. Koko

    June 7, 2016 at 8:23 pm

    Same story at UBTH. All I ask is that doctors and nurses become human at least. Maybe then they will realise that even in the face of no equipments, low budgets and little staff, they can make a huge difference in the number of those who live. It is really sad. I keep saying all we need is one scape goat and the rest will sit up.

  30. Ann

    June 7, 2016 at 8:26 pm

    This is my first time posting a comment on BN but this really hit close to home. First of all I’m very sorry for your loss Ekene. May your dad’s soul continue to rest in peace and may God continue to strengthen your family. I lost my younger sister and my dad to our health system, both public and private. It’s too long a story but Ekene’s experiences are so similar to mine. I will never forget weeping at the state of the emergency section at LASUTH, using my car as an ambulance at 3am to rush my sister across town to LASUTH because our so called private hospitals had no specialists on call and how much time was wasted on going from one place to the other on tests. It is very very sad. Shame on our government and shame on the corrupt leaders who led this country down the path we are on now. Now my daily prayer is may I and my family never have cause to enter a hospital in this country.

  31. umolu

    June 7, 2016 at 8:37 pm

    This experience is similar to mine. My dad had an appointment at the Jos University Teaching Hospital with a so called specialist, a professor at his chosen field. On the day of the appointment the professor was a no show on a life or death situation. We were simply told he had travelled. We reminded the front desk that we had an appointment and they confirmed it but there was nothing they could do since the professor had gone to Abuja to meet with a minister. My daddy eventually died a few days due to a heart problem. Nigeria is a joke on so many fronts.Its so bad. These days when I am asked where do you originally come from? ; I am reluctant to answer that question .At a point you can’t defend the indefensible.

  32. suweddy

    June 7, 2016 at 8:44 pm

    My sincere condolence, my experience at LUTH couple of years ago has remained a night mare, The traumatic experience is best imagined.. The picture of nurses with hands in their pocket peeping into the ambulance that carried my mum who had stroke is mind blowing… In all, the word EMERGENCY does not exist in our medical personnel minds or hospitals.. its a cliche.. … Just sad.

  33. Beard gang

    June 7, 2016 at 8:55 pm

    Mr. Ekene, I am deeply sorry for your loss. I pray the Lord gives you fortitude to bear it.
    I admire the courage you have put on to end this gross ineptitude and reckless attitude in the abruptly dysfunctional health sector. I wish you added names of specific personnel that behaved questionably.
    Papa’s death will definitely not be in vain!
    Sir, please don’t let this be swept under the carpet. I am more than ready to join in this campaign for competence in the health sector. I WANT TO BE A PART OF IT!! I have lost a loved one to the recklessness too.
    hashtags alone won’t help us, we need more strategic ways to achieve our goal. They won’t give us power, they won’t give us roads, they won’t give us good education, they won’t give us food so what do they give us? Propaganda pep talk that does not contribute shit to anything. YOUTHS please stand up and be part of this revolution, these old and corrupt folks don’t mean us well. We are the energetic bunch and the relentless. Their children shove their louboutins and how they breastfeed their babies in Ibiza why we perish in sickness and poverty. This has to stop! We must FORCE them to do their jobs or resign
    Sorry for the rant, I just feel very sad for Mr. Ekene.
    RIP Papa Mekunye

  34. Ms N

    June 7, 2016 at 8:57 pm

    I’m so sorry for your loss….. Its sad that you had to experience this first hand before you had to come to the realisation of how rotten & sham the healthcare sector in Nigeria is. What’s even funny is when those who can afford to leave the country at freewill beg for our vote with unrealistic mandates that never get past the election campaign poster.

    The entire system just needs complete overhaul & responsibility been drummed into the heads of healthcare professionals

  35. DocDeola

    June 7, 2016 at 9:26 pm

    I did my electives in Nigeria and within 4 weeks I was already desensitised. There was so much suffering, people begging at the doors for what should be a basic human right. It was there that I saw real poverty- of spirit, of attitude and of humanity. I was heartbroken as I knew I wouldn’t be able to return to my beloved country to work…..because those who could afford healthcare in Nigeria might as well travel abroad as it costs the same.
    Then I noted the best kept secret in UCH, there was a private ward, with a guard at the door, with air con, the plushest chairs, this was like the lounge of a hotel, separate from the suffering, where things got done, specially selected staff were on hand, patients there could not be looked in the eye. It costs hundreds and thousands just to get in there.. Serving as a holding pen till private jet whisks them abroad! Nigeria needs a revolution because the disparity between the ultra rich and poor is just too great.

  36. LW

    June 7, 2016 at 9:29 pm

    So sad and sorry to hear this. May your father’s soul Rest in Peace. May God continue to comfort you and your family at this very difficult time.
    My thoughts are – Dismayed at your experience and that this is the norm, is extremely disturbing. The curses upon the heads of these hardened hearted nurses, matrons and doctors must be uncountable. Those that steal money meant to better the hospitals will reap their own wickedness. As for that HOD of the ENT department being upset, all na pretense because they all know what happens there. From gateman to cleaner to the very top of these hospitals they all play their part in this “rotten to the core” non-existent health system.

  37. Adesuwa

    June 7, 2016 at 9:33 pm

    Dear Ekene, I am truly sorry about your dad’s passing on.
    I feel your pain because I have experienced the same. Albeit not a government hospital but Eko Mortuary Plc. Their staff killed my father on Christmas Day 2014. Memories of which I’d rather not recall.
    There’s little value placed on human life in Nigeria – within and outside the walls of the hospitals.
    I pray the Lord strengthens your mum like He did mine and keep you and your siblings in love and unity.

  38. trey

    June 7, 2016 at 9:35 pm

    My poor mum lost her eye to a female ophthalmologist in GRA PH – Name of the hospital is the Eye Surgery.. It is supposed to be one of the best eye clinics in PH. My mum had done this particular eye op in the UK. They disinfect the eye then dilate the pupils. In 1 hr my mum’s eye was at 65% which was a huge improvement . When the 2nd eye had issues, she did not want to trouble me she decided to do it in PH. After disinfecting and scrubbing the eye. Her blood pressure hit the roof . Somehow she knew what the doctor was doing was not right but the woman kept speaking to her in Ibo “mummy don’t worry I do this every day UK people did not do it well”. My mother developed this headache that was like madness. They shaved her hair and rushed her to me in UK. I cried and cried. When we went to Moorfields the doctors there said ťhe eye was gone. The cornea had scars from “a heavy handed person” they said. Today my mum who is a former English and Literature has only one eye. They performed laser to stop the nerve damage causing the headache. This laser op which cost about £3k will have to be done every year . God will help my siblings and i to assist my poor mum. When we tried to reach the Dr she had brought her hubby for treatment in UK. See life.!!!. Ekenr I am so sorry re your dad. Ndooh.

  39. Very very sad!!

    June 7, 2016 at 9:42 pm

    I read your story and was moved to tears again because I lost a very dear one at a government hospital this year as well. The experience should not be recounted even though I must say it has been God helping to deal with the torture experience the entire family went through then. We need to not only talk about these experiences but insist on much needed reforms in our health sector. A state of emergency should have been declared years ago because most of the hospitals (public and private ) are death traps. It explains why even PMB could not go to any of our so called teaching hospitals. The time to act is far gone. Too many lIves have been lost already and many more may be if we do not all demand a major overhaul. We need to start a movement on this urgently.

  40. marcel

    June 7, 2016 at 10:23 pm

    Sorry Mr Ekene. Ndoo! The worst part is that ‘if u want to die, die’ attitude of these medical personnel. Some of them aren’t human. I was once admitted in a hospital here in the east as a teenager. The nurse on duty was so harsh not minding my health. Karma caught up with her she was admitted that same night with an emergency case after she was off duty.

  41. Maria

    June 7, 2016 at 10:25 pm

    This is so heart breaking. So sorry for your loss…I want to move back home but things like this make me think twice..One day we will get there…this is just so sad..

  42. Jayden phoenix

    June 7, 2016 at 10:36 pm

    LASUTH is a very useless hospital. Lost my mum there in 2014. Was with her for days there n it was a horrible experience I don’t wanna recall. Nigeria needs help…..or deliverance??

  43. Ajala & Foodie

    June 7, 2016 at 10:47 pm

    When some people say Nigeria is cursed, I genuinely hesitate to condemn them. Why??? Because as a society we do not place any value on any form of life and more importantly the lives of fellow human beings. If they are not related to us they are up for “sari” (scarifice).

    Yet we are super religious, I wonder which kin God some of us call on because there is no way God can be listening to such a wicked and perverse people. That is why I keep clamoring that our issue is not any government, it is your every day people, the market woman, who does not hesitate to hike up her price unfairly blaming dollar for the pepper she got from Kaduna, or the negligent doctor who does not see the urgency in saving a life, the policeman who is trigger happy to shoot innocent citizens for not offering bribe but is no where to be found when co gun welding robbers show up, to the politician that hires assassins to kill his opponent. Do you think these people will act differently should they become senators, governors, vice presidents, presidents tomorrow???
    Alas my people, our government is only a reflection of us!!!!!

    E ri bayi (we no see am so ), see how God always punished people for blood shed, see David, just the one he did see as God punish him and so I wonder if the blood of so many we have lost due to our selfishness and just plain wickedness as sincerely not brought on us years upon years of curses. A year ago or so ago there was an outcry on social media about a woman that died at childbirth at Eko hospital and NOTHING came of it. The hospital still functions today, probably leading to more deaths. We cried for Bridget for a couple days, today that story is already dying down, we have moved on. God help us !!!!

  44. o

    June 7, 2016 at 11:09 pm

    I have noticed very few nurses in Nigeria are in that profession because they genuinely care and want to save lives. Most just do it to eck a living. This negligence has gone unpunished for so long that is why it is still rampant.

    Ones prayer is not to suffer a medical emergency in this country. Pls accept my condolences. May God rest your father’s soul.

  45. Passerby

    June 7, 2016 at 11:30 pm

    You are better off treated by a native doctor than attend one of those death camp government hospitals in nigeria.

  46. nikky

    June 7, 2016 at 11:42 pm

    I am so sorry for your loss. I cannot even begin to imagine what you and the rest of your family must be going through right now. Especially knowing that it was avoidable. May your father’s soul rest in peace.
    I believe that public shaming on a national or global scale is the only thing that will make these “Healthcare Workers” have some sense accountability and maybe remorse. Bringing a lawsuit against them for negligence is something that would be worked in a sane country not Nigeria. You could contact any credible television house with strong investigative journalist to use your families unfortunate experience as a base for highlighting how rotten our health care system really is. As sad as your situation was you still saw patients that were worse off. That says a lot.
    As long as our leaders in government are not forced to use the same public health system they provide for the masses whatever CHANGE is story will cause will only be cosmetic. When the noise dies down it will be businesses as usual. I know for sure that if these “Healthcare Workers” know on big oga is coming to the hospital for medical care they will be forced to do their jobs.
    #sorryforthelongstory.

  47. Commentar

    June 7, 2016 at 11:45 pm

    I believe almost every Nigerian resonates which such neglect from the health sector.I also lost my father in a private hospital for something manageable as diabetics.I always tell people once the matter reach hospital in Nigeria just start living like its your last days.It will take more than a 100 years for things to be right in this country because there are no repricautions for behaving badly. Sadly many more will be victims.My condolences to all, may your loved ones rest in peace am sure they have gone to a much better place than being further damaged and living as vegetables from the Nigerian health sector.

  48. IjE

    June 7, 2016 at 11:46 pm

    Ekene, I am really sorry for your loss. I just realised the rot in the Nigerian hospital system. I am a trainee doctor overseas but recently visited home because my mom had a motor vehicle accident with trauma.
    I cannot even begin to report everything my eyes saw during her admission; from her not seeing a consultant for 10 days(and I am just thinking what if it was worse, is this how people die?) to the lousy attitude of some of the junior Doctors or is it the pharmacy calling at 11pm that I should go buy her medications as they had run out( I wondered if they did not realise how many they had left when they were dispensing during the day) along with some other issues to delicate to type on here and this is supposed to be a somewhat privatized hospital in Abuja.
    Before this time, I strongly considered moving back home really soon but after everything these past few months I am not sure if I will cope in the swarm of terrible professionals from the doctors to the receptionists. May God continue to preserve us and our loved ones. I hope this is a wake up call to Medical professionals in Nigeria. There are a few good ones though. #ValueNigerians

  49. So sorry

    June 8, 2016 at 12:07 am

    Know your real enemies….the corrupt leaders that steal from our system, break it and use the money to take care of themselves and their loved ones.

    I have worked as a doctor in this broken system and I had to leave because it was going to either break me or make me completely numb to the frequent corpses and avoidable deaths I had to put up with……I don’t know how anyone is able to practice in such a broken system…

    Know your real enemies and don’t join people in defending any corrupt leader!

  50. Lala

    June 8, 2016 at 12:11 am

    I used to speak up for my fellow Nigerians- whether at the bank (when you’ve waited almost 1 hour), and nobody says anything like …. Oh the system is down, that’s why we are not paying anyone. Or at the general hospital, when nurses collect bribes to put a plaster on you. Even once when I was in a public bus- Greener line to LAgos, the driver had had some alcohol and endangering our lives, in all these instances I spoke up, took action, etc. But, everyone was like, ah, madam, take it easy, etc.

    As a people, we never speak up, even when the institution is private and not a government entity. A people that won’t speak up will suffer. And you know what, EVERYtime I spoke up early in injustice, the situation was salvaged. Sometimes, we use inter city public transport and the driver is reckless on the road. Do majority speak up and demand change of action by the driver? No. Yet, many have lost their lives this way.

    If a people do not standup for themselves or join those who stand up for them, for fear of death and reprisals, then they will suffer. I got tired of speaking up and standing up for a people who refused to support you when you speak out, so I packed my bag and left.

    Once I was ‘treated’ by some rogue nurses at a government hospital and they collected money for nothing, despite posters all over the clinic stating all treatment was free. I insisted they gave me a receipt, they refused. I made them write it down on paper. Next thing, I went to the chief legal officers office and reported with their the evidence. She marched there with me and they refunded the money straight away. Speak my people or suffer!!!

    Also, despite our religiousity, I have never met a more insensitive, wicked and unfair people in my life. So long as the person is not related to them, Nigerians can demonstrate a total disconnect and zero empathy for a person in pain. Christianity is not constant prayer and fasting, it is having compassion for humanity. EVERYtime Jesus healed, it was written that he was moved by compassion, yet see our deaconesses, how they treat their house helps and our deacons how they steal at work. Our values are WACK.

    Bella post this my angry epistle, Biko!

  51. Lala

    June 8, 2016 at 12:13 am

    All typos observed.

  52. Concerned

    June 8, 2016 at 12:33 am

    Dear Ekene, Please accept my condolences over the loss of your father through negligence. I pray that God will give you and your mom and siblings Grace to bear your loss. I hope that God gives you the strenght one day to shoot a film around the subject matter of negligence and cold heartedness of our politicians, civil servants in the health ministry and agencies, legislators, and the entire medical professionals. If reliving what your father went through is too painful to potray through a film, maybe a documentary would be sufficient. That would even give more awareness and start a national campaign to end this madness once and for all. I had a similar experience twice with relatives in Abuja. One died (a 4 year old) after receiving very poor care and then being discharged from the hospital – we had to pay money to get blood and that only the beginning of the harrowing experience-, but the other had to be flown out of the country and lost a limb that could have been saved if done immediately upon arrival at the hospital.

  53. Grace

    June 8, 2016 at 12:55 am

    The best action I have ever taken about my health was to register with a health insurance like Lagoon Hygeia and Redcare. It will save you time and money. Anyone reading this should register their entire family or parents. You don’t have to be sick first before running about.

  54. Shola

    June 8, 2016 at 1:03 am

    Ekene, one is truly sorry for this ordeal that you have gone through. I’v been through it and know how it feels.

    This ordeal reminds me of why we need to also invest in prevention.

    – We should be going on regular tests every three months (Blood pressure, blood test, body weight, breast scan, groin cancer check, urine tests) You can do all these tests in one session

    – Some of our parents are extremely overweight and are not eating healthy.

    -Some of us spend more money on aso ebi than we do on our health check ups

    -Nigerians have the highest rate of diabetes ( yet we continue to eat and drink heavy sugary diets)

    We also need to take action on our health whilst we are alive.

  55. nnenne

    June 8, 2016 at 1:41 am

    Buhari has provide an answer to every medical problem in Nigeria….. buy a ticket and go to London. If can’t afford it, that’s your business.
    His answer to education is , send your kids abroad, if can’t afford foreign exchange, that’s your business.
    CHANGE and Clean up indeed!!

    • Lala

      June 8, 2016 at 1:29 pm

      I am sure you know that there are financial services firm who take naira in Nigeria and pay out that tuition in dollars or pounds without you having to find pounds or dollars first in Nigeria.

  56. nnenne

    June 8, 2016 at 1:42 am

    provided

  57. Tunmi

    June 8, 2016 at 2:30 am

    So who is filing the first lawsuit?

  58. demashi

    June 8, 2016 at 7:09 am

    I commiserate with you and now we understand why Buhari had to travel abroad for a simple ENT procedure. Our medical system is simply messed up and the blame lies squarely at the hands of our leaders. The doctors and healthcare professionals (my bro is a Doc) simply lack the tools to work and hence are frustrated. I experienced this a little over a year ago when I had to rush a dying neighbour to a Govt hospital in the wee hours of the morning. From the gateman who was being dramatic, to nurses sleeping on duty and an immature Doctor, it was all to much for me. I had to scream at the top of my lungs to get anything done. What further irked me was a nurse saying in Yoruba “I need to act like a mature person, we don’t know where we would meet”, I was like “someone is dying and you are here saying idioms”. Sadly after two hours driving round Surulere looking for a particular drug, we had to take him to LASEMS in Lagos Island. That was another story, we had to wait for someone to be discharged to get a wheelchair, chill for accounts to open to make a payment, drive round Lagos to get Insulin, I was pleasantly surprised to see him still alive when I got back after an hour. It’s a miracle the guy survived the ordeal eventually. Cue when my son had an head accident at the heathrow airport some years earlier, he was fast loosing blood and the medics came round and got an ambulance on the tarmac in no time. Got to one of the best children’s hospitals and treated with no charge. This is the change we need and not all these rhetorics we keep getting from all these neausating guys.

  59. Chioma Chuka

    June 8, 2016 at 8:25 am

    Hello Ekene,

    My condolences for your loss. It’s a shame and really unfortunate what happened to your family, and really interesting to see the clarity with which you outlined what you believe should be done.

    First thing I believe should be done however, is to sue. I’m not a lawyer but I believe negligence, manslaughter, and damages are a good place to start. Happy to help anyway I can if you want to do this.

    Again, my deepest condolences.

    • Lala

      June 8, 2016 at 10:02 am

      If you want him to sue, then it requires money to hire the best lawyers, someone in the category of Ozekhome, Keyamo or Falana. Their names alone will draw media attention to the matter. We are talking about over 25 million naira across 1 to 2 years. If Ekene is willing, I can set up a Go Fund Me account to finance the lawsuit. Ekene do want a lawsuit?
      If he says yes, I am sure Nigerians home and abroad would give. I will give. But if he choses not to, then there will be many more of this to come.

  60. Junie

    June 8, 2016 at 9:55 am

    pls accept my condolence. I am a medical doctor and I currently work in Nigeria at one of the tertiary health centers. I must agree that your lament is very true and happens everyday. I had to apologize to a patient’s relative only last night during my call for the rude attitude of another staff I was on call with.
    I must add as well that hospital staff are most times under a lot of pressure and are human as well, as u have pointed out especially stemming from gross understaffing and grossly inadequate pay particularly in comparison to the grand hospitals outside the country which we wish to compare with. again you would agree with !e that a road side mechanic who has to struggle all day with a rusty wrench is more likely to be grumpy and impolite compared to the auto mechanic who has automated devices to handle half of what he needs to do. these also need to be considered in making the health care system get better.
    a good lot of these rude staff also work at private facilities and I tell u the truth, they are much nicer and happier people. you guesses are as good as mine as to why this is the case.
    sorry you have learnt of this decay in such a painful way and thank you for taking it up too. I hope as you strive to create some awareness about this challenge you are able to put all contributory factors in the right perspective so as to instigate a change in the right direction and the kind that would last

  61. Lala

    June 8, 2016 at 10:52 am

    When I see people comenting on corruption posts in Nigeria and reduce it to Igbo vs. Hausa vs Yoruba, I shake my head. It is about issues my people, not tribe. It takes ignorance and stupidity to go on about our tribes, etc. We are humans united by experiences of a failing nation. Rude nurses, shabby doctors, etc affects us all irrespective of tribe. The next time there’s a corruption post on Bella, do not come here to reduce it to the trivialities of tribe or political parties. Every stolen money is a hospital unfunded, a school without classrooms and roads unmaintaied- meaning death traps. When I read comments on the UK Guardian website- then I understand why their nation is developed. Issues are discussed with a focus on the common good of all in Britain because they are first – humans. Not tribes. Especially you Nene, everything must be reduced to Jonathan politics and you Fasholalover- everything is about – ‘they are witchhunting this person because they are PDP or APC’ . Enough of these childish comments in this forum. If you want to comment on corruption issues, remember Ekene’s father and thousands who die in hospitals and on our bad roads and the messed up pension systems. Don’t reduce corruption to foolish tribal politics because poverty does not care if you Igbo, hausa or Yoruba.
    As for my fellow Niger Delta people blowing up pipelines- sorry! Why didnt you people blow up pipelines when Tompolo siphoned pipelines monitoring contract money, or when Asari used oil money to build university in Benin Republic- why didnt he build the Marine University you all want now (guess he was afraid one of you would blow up his hustle someday). When our community leaders was cutting out their portions from your monthly amnesty pay, you people did not fight. When Thomas Ereyitomi took the money meant for transformer for an entire community, you all did nothing.

    Let Shell leave and Chevron as well- maybe those of us from the Niger Delta will drink this our almighty oil for which we will not allow Nigeria have peace…….

  62. Nene

    June 8, 2016 at 11:37 am

    This is really depressing. The story is just so sad. Why are Nigerians so heartless? When did we become this way? And I’m not just talking of those in Nigeria. Even Nigerians in the diaspora. I can always tell wen i get bad service abroad, it’s a Nigerian or an Indian.

  63. aj

    June 8, 2016 at 11:42 am

    so sorry for your loss, I lost my dad in 2014. He was going for dialysis every week at JUTH, sometimes after the procedure they will tell my mum to carry him out by herself because there is no wheelchair. In fact, the last Doctors appointment she took him for, they saw a different Doctor from the one they normally see and all he could tell my mum in front of my dad was that my dad is going to die, health workers can be so insensitive. We lost him some weeks later.

  64. Y

    June 8, 2016 at 12:05 pm

    Sorry for the loss of your father. I am going through hell presently with General hospital odan lagos. From rude matrons, doctors to gross incompetency. How can drugs be administered to you without proper diagnosis? Nigeria is truly finished.

  65. Chi

    June 8, 2016 at 1:05 pm

    damn that lasuth just don’t know y they are like dat. very nonchalant set of pepu.
    my dear so sorry for ur loss it is well

  66. Sunshine

    June 8, 2016 at 1:33 pm

    Ekene, I felt and still feel your pain after reading what you went through. may you and yours find comfort.

    I feel like cursing the hospital staff with the hot tears that i had to fight off while reading .

    Its a sad vicious cycle of irresponsibility we have in Nigeria, from public fund looters, to even the most junior government worker. Add to this a lack of appreciation for human or any form of life. Its just sickening.

    May you find healing from such a traumatic experience.

    As for all the solutions and suggestions …. #ifistarttotalk….and i used to be foolish enough to think Nigeria would be greater when i grow up….look at us now…still stumbling around.

  67. Grace

    June 8, 2016 at 1:36 pm

    If i start to talk….SMH

    Kindly accept my sympathy over the careless death of your Dad. Its so sad.

    I did experience same first hand,i was the patient…I was actually referred to the hospital(FMC Ebutte Metta Lagos)in the name of they had good Doctors who were consultants,since i couldnt afford to travel abroad. My experience 🙁 (Its still a big trauma till date,its almost 2 years now)anytime i drive pass that way,i get this horrible chill..

    The truth is i got saved by God’s grace. That is all i can say.
    Most of the nurses,matrons,Doctors and even admin staff are wicked and very very very very RUDE and still act like mini gods. Some very very few are good/kind but most of them are useless/careless. I wish our Nation could be better i totally dream of it but all i see is the impossibility of it all. From the MD’s of the hospitals to the security man they are all wicked and careless. May God help this nation. We deserve better as citizens.

  68. RedRuby

    June 8, 2016 at 1:44 pm

    This story moved me to tears and I totally empathize with Ekene…this is just so so so sad.May your dads soul RIP.As for me,I have since known that death is awfully cheap in Nigeria….people die very very needlessly here and its high time we stood up for this.If there is anything I absolutely dread,its having to go deal with an issue at any of the govt and teaching hospitals in this nation.The hopeless state of things always makes me cringe.My mum had an accident a few years ago and was at UCH for quite some time,it was hell for myself and my siblings…the same lack of care,inefficiencies,disregard for human life Ekene experienced was what we went through.Very recently too,I had to take my daughter to this same LASUTH and even though it was a minor ENT issue,I had a very harrowing experience that lasted for more than a week(on something that could be resolved within hours)…from the sending up and down to get this,get that,buy this form to the screams and yells from the so called matrons;she was eventually billed for a surgical procedure…come and see list presented to me,down to cotton wool….even though they claimed healthcare was free for children…i finally got angry and left,minutes after i got an harassing call from a nurse (dont know if this was an attempt at some horrible customer service as it was non existent before I left the hospital,or somebody just needed me to buy the stuff)she was practically yelling down the line on me that they asked me to get theatre stuff and i vanished,i yelled back at her and gave her a piece of my mind.Please,i implore as many of us that can join this movement via soc. media,lets do so….for the sake of the future!theres still a slight glimmer of hope if we can act now by driving this change,maybe….just maybe!

  69. Splendid

    June 8, 2016 at 4:14 pm

    May the soul of your father rest in peace. I am even shedding tear as I am reading this because I know how painful it is to lost a father. Health sector is a very big challenge in this Country. The only thing Nigerian doctors know how to do best is to go on strike, they are even threatening to go on strike right now. My sister that is a nurse even said it that a lot of people died at hospital as a result of negligence on doctors and non nonchalant attitude of nurses. It is high time we started suing hospitals or doctors for cause of death of our love ones in Nigeria not the usual saying “that will not bring him back blablabla” or “God bringth and taketh” while it is the cause of a careless doctor or nurse somewhere. Take heart my brother.

    • Chi

      June 11, 2016 at 11:38 pm

      Sue the Hospitals too …very important, so that they watch their staff.

  70. Rhecks

    June 8, 2016 at 10:09 pm

    Can we please have volunteer lawyers take up this case? It’s highly saddening when someone dies due to negligence. Please accept my sincere condolences Ekene…

  71. Private enterprise

    June 9, 2016 at 5:12 am

    Quickly scanning through this comment section will show you the problem with Nigerians. God was mentioned 31 times. Maybe Nigerians will rather die and go to heaven than make their lives comfortable on earth.

  72. Peaches77

    June 9, 2016 at 11:44 am

    Kai Kai! Just soo angry.

    This is the reason I’ll never blame people who seek medical care abroad. “Common” India has great hospitals with impeccable medical services. Which way Nigeria? Are we too big for ourselves?

  73. spicyglo

    June 9, 2016 at 11:53 am

    its really painful to read this becos it reminds me of how my father died barely two weeks too at the same LASUTH because one one was ready to attend to him and he also couldnt breath well any longer and was also in pains …we helpless watch him die. obviously their workers are used to seeing people die like chicken everyday so it not longer new to them and the most painful part is that he also collect bribe just to attend to a patient and if u are not quick to notice , they all act like they dont care and its none of their business until they person passes away and they begin to pretend like they want to revive the patient..its just so sad and disheartening that we have a system like this where lives are not valued. may God help us .

    • Naijatalk

      June 9, 2016 at 12:28 pm

      BN well meaning Nigerians want to do something. We are asking what can we do. Have you reached out to Ekene? How do we help. Let’s actually do something. Aren’t we sick and tired already? The nature of an emergency is that it comes without warning so even if you can afford treatment outside Nigeria what happens to you or your fellow Nigerian in the event of an emergency. BN take this up a part of your corporate social responsibility. Have your writers do a weekly feature. Be a channel to hold people accountable. We will not grow weary, we cannot afford to.

  74. anonymous

    June 9, 2016 at 3:34 pm

    Hi Ekene, I’m so sorry about you’re dad and the picture you painted is a daily occurence in our hospitals across Nigeria. I’m a doctor working at one of them and I also get frustrated with the situation. I try to do my bit, to help. However we have a loooot of issues in this country and they have seeped into the health sector. Unfortunately this directly impacts human lives visibly as opposed to other things which may have a more remote cause and effect relationship.
    Gross underfunding, understaffing, makes ideals like doctor and nurse to patient ratios unachievable ideals. The government work factor inherent in civil service in Nigeria today. Corruption and mismanagement by administrative staff, lousy policies that are not effected or poorly so, lack of insurance. The list is endless. Our politicians give contracts to their friends to supply hospitals across the country with substandard equipment, with a small cut. And so the patient suffers. We are used to “managing” and this doesn’t help ANYONE. Dr’s, patients, no one because everyone is a patient relative.
    My only appeal to my colleagues is do your bit, and everyone’s bit will amount to something. Have some empathy and respect because even the most wretched patient is loved by God and is important to someone. I have found myself quarreling to make a patient’s stay easier, because I know it is not easy.
    And if you do decide to sue, I hope it brings about a movement and does not become a one -off thing.

  75. Uzo

    June 9, 2016 at 11:27 pm

    As sad as this story might seem, I believe every single word he said cos I have worked in LASUTH in the past and I can tell you that for the short while I worked there, Patients were lost like every single day and the funny thing is that there is no remorse. Sometimes they leave the dead body for hours before taken out traumatizing other patients.. The nurses n the Chew are the worse. They frustrate u esp if you are a young doctor. I don’t know why they v refused to look into all the allegations leveled against that place. I always advice people that if you have a pressing emergency, take ur family to a reputable private hospital, it might be expensive, but they work fast. I am a medical doctor by profession and I won’t see even n stand by it. We really need to reevaluate our Health Sector in this country. In cases of Emergency, provide the emergent care then talk about the money after. You can’t see someone that is not breathing properly n be asking for Test.. It’s even against the Hippocratic Oath.
    Sorry for your Loss dear writer. May God give your family the fortitude to bear such careless loss. It is well.. RIP Papa

    • Chi

      June 11, 2016 at 11:36 pm

      Again we need a law change in Nigeria and healthcare questions should be part of the election demands. America had to change their laws and they put it on a signage in the hospital in both Spanish & English so you know you right. You must receive emergency care whether you are rich or poor.

  76. Anonymous

    June 10, 2016 at 2:33 am

    I’m sorry for your loss and thank you for taking the time to write this, it couldn’t have been easy. I lost my mum at UCH Ibadan last year and the conditions you describe are all too familiar. I don’t live in Nigeria but I came to be with her when she had a cardiac arrest and I could not believe what we experienced. Unfortunately, private hospitals are no better because she was taken to a private hospital first and they made her wait three hours before telling her they couldn’t help her – this, to someone who was in heart failure. My mum never went to the hospital for anything because she was more afraid of what would happen to her if she went. Sadly, her biggest fear came true.

  77. kassim Mayowa

    June 10, 2016 at 7:51 am

    As a medical doctor the way I see what is happening in d health care industry in Nigeria d solution is in d hand of govt. Restructuring of d system to give room for accountability, stop unionism in d sector, repel conflicting Acts and involve public private partnership in d running of hospitals. D system and workers need a total overhauling.

  78. toni

    June 10, 2016 at 9:03 am

    Ekene please accept my sincere condolences. Please do not let this case die. Sue the hospital. It won’t bring back your dad but u will be saving hundreds more. I read a few comments and stopped cos it’s more or less same minds we all got concerning this case. Having said that, I will like to contribute as someone in the healthcare industry. I am a medical doctor with about 8 years post graduation experience and currently work for a state government in a General Hospital. Thank God u said there are some good doctors and nurses during that nightmare. Not to blow my trumpet, but I pride myself with the fact that I WILL SLEEP SOUNDLY WHEN ANYONE DIES UNDER MY WATCH BECAUSE I WOULD HAVE DONE EVERYTHING HUMANLY POSSIBLE AVAILABLE TO ME IN THAT INSTANCE! I have gone as far as donating my own blood for a patient I DO NOT KNOW FROM ADAM AND STILL OPERATE ON HER. I have paid for patients bills FROM MY OWN POCKET. I have done procedures for indigent patients and just ask them to go when I know they can’t afford to pay the bills. There are days that I took breakfast by 8pm because I have been attending to one patient to another from 3am in the night (my hospital does not provide call food, instead they monetize it @ N200 per day so u practically skip meals). Upon all these and many more, u will be surprised that the last salary my colleagues and i got was for December. December 2015! Do patients appreciate you for these? Yes they do. Maybe one or 2 in a hundred tells u THANK YOU DOCTOR! Let me paraphrase “the matron replied the doctor ‘the oxygen that you brought from emergency abi’?” Everybody in the hospital wants to be equal to the doctor. The doctor was meant to issue orders as per patient care but that hardly applies to Nigeria anymore. Will u be surprised if nothing is done to the matron if she was reported for that negligence? I won’t be though, she might be the wife of the CMD or CMAC. Do I even have the liver to report her? Abi I don get another job? You see, while it is NOT A CRIME FOR A DOCTOR TO MARRY A NURSE, KNOW THAT THE NIGERIAN SYSTEM IS FLAWED AND WILL NOT PROTECT THE YOUNG DOCTOR WHO TRIES TO DO THE RIGHT THING IN THIS CASE. I have as friends several young nurses and from our discussions, it’s evident that a major 20 unit credit course In their school of nursing is “I am not a maid of the doctor” so as much as is possible will not do what a doctor tells them to do for a patient. Who suffers? The patient! In civilized climes, OXYGEN RUNS LIKE PIPE BORNE WATER IN THE WARDS, THEATHRES, AND EMERGENCY ROOMS OF HOSPITALS. That is a government job by the way. I can donate blood for a patient I DO not know. I can pay one or 2 bills for another. But I can not use my money to supply oxygen tanks in A&E not to mention running oxygen to all hospital beds. Hold the hospital management responsible if there are no consumables like gloves etc. U do not really want to ask the doctor or nurse to use their bare hands to attend to a sick loved one do u? Blame the government for NOT PROVIDING A HOSPITAL AS BIG AS LASUTH WITH A CT SCAN MACHINE. That is beyond the means of the hospital management.

    Your dad’s death is an avoidable one and i am sorry. What can be done to avoid similar occurrences?

    1. Harmony within health workers. Orientate healthcare workers HCWs to understand that the patient is the reason they have a job. The patient is the centre and most important component of the hospital. Not the doctor, not the nurse, not the cleaner. However, there must be a head of the health team and the doctor, by virtue of his training is best suited to head this team. Let the nurse ad pharmacist be proud of their jobs. In that way inferiority complex (which is the root cause of all these acrimonies)will die naturally.
    2. Increase remuneration of HCWs. You compare healthcare delivery in UK, US to that in Nigeria. Are you aware that a JUNIOR NURSE IN THE UK IS PAID MORE THAN A MEDICAL CONSULTANT IN NIGERIA?
    3. Make strike illegal in the health sector but this can only be achieved when HCWs are treated same way other essential services are treated e.g. the armed forces. U can’t stop me from going on strike when u pay me peanuts and owe me salaries.
    4. Let government be true to the people. Increase health budget. Provide basic amenities. Buy these machines needed. Many government hospitals do not have common DEFIBRILLATOR!
    5. After all the above can u talk of MONITORING AND LITIGATION.

    • Chi

      June 11, 2016 at 11:32 pm

      Again…yes little resources, but what are they doing with the little resources. Insubordination has nothing to do with resources. Loss of life due to insubordination from a nurse or other staff should result in malpractice litigation & loss of license. Even if the healthcare system has plenty money, it will not fix the cracks you describe that are so due to lack of written protocols or guidelines or standards of care. For example, if a pharmacist questions a medication or dosage, even if he knows it is wrong, he or she does not have the right in America to change any part of the medication. The pharmacist must call the doctor & wait till they can clarify the order. If the pharmacist changes the medicine without notifying the doc. And she or he is reported he will get a smear of some sought on his record. We have to change rules & establish protocols to make a huge change.

  79. dj

    June 10, 2016 at 10:04 am

    We cannot be all hating on the medical profession.we should rather have the government of this so called country to blame.they have politicised everything, including the health sector.it pains me when people like you lawyers talk about this things.what happened to fundamental rights of many nigerians that have been trampled upon?what do u do abt it?look at child abuse,trafficking and all of that.what have you been doing about it.No you wont do any thing because there is no fee attached.you are a problem to nigeria.your mentality is wack. The abroad you are talking about,have you seen the structure of management in the hospitals,how it operates and the policies behind them.do you think the doctors there ar hungry.no.they have good working environment with availability of facilities.they don’t have to fight with the nurses or lab scientist or pharmacist over who is to head the hospital.its only in nigeria a doctor will prescribe a drug and a pharmacist will change the prescription.the medical professionals are well taken care of .health is a top priority over there and that is why they enjoy the best of service .when the head is corupt d people suffer.I sympathise with Ekene and am not in support of the lukewarm attitude towards emergencies.at thesame tme u would understand with me dat people need to have job satisfaction without which your full potential will be limited. We need enabling environments in our hospitals to work.have you ask yourself why is that nigerians are among the best doctors in the UK snd the US?I don’t blame you lawyers ,probably you don’t need equipments to work.it all brings me to dis conclusion nigeria is a sad country and unless we change our mentality we are going nowhere.

  80. igbinewka Rosemary

    June 10, 2016 at 11:49 am

    god help us

  81. igbineweka Rosemary

    June 10, 2016 at 1:00 pm

    so sorry for your loss and for everyone who has suffered same, it’s so unfortunate that hospitals which are supposed to preserve lives are the Ones ending them. m glad that you put this out, pls continue to post them on any page you can get ur hands on though it wont bring him back it wud save others and force those killer hospitals and its heartless health workers do the good deeds they were trained for.i know of a hospital whose medical facilities are up to standard n the health personnel are ever ready and so eager to work, the hospital name is cavesbury hospital at kola Ait road Lagos they also have ambulance , u can call 08131035735 for more info. .pls let us join hands to help save lives by putting unhelpful hospital names out for everyone to see.May God save us

  82. God Knows

    June 10, 2016 at 1:19 pm

    Ekene please accept my sincere condolences.but why the hate statement on LASUTH,they’re still the best in Nigeria compare to your state hospital.
    Learn to appreciate the little staff strength that are over burdened daily by patience nationwide and even neighboring countries.
    This isn’t LASUTH issues it is a national issue.

    • Chi

      June 11, 2016 at 11:21 pm

      Shatttaaappppp!!!…what is the best hospital? If you look at the ranking system here in the US, You will find that it is yearly, quarterly etc ranking. Hence, a number 1 hospital this yr can fall and another can rise. Pls. Disappear with this best hospital nonsense. We talking about lives lost not useless ranking and by what or whose standards are they the best?

  83. Unclehill

    June 10, 2016 at 1:55 pm

    Well, needless to say that nearly everyone in Nigeria has experienced this or something close to it at one time or another. University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital and National Orthopedic Hospital both in Enugu collaborated to kill my own father in on February 16th 2015. I wouldn’t want to bore people with the gory details of it; which was a bit more horrible that Ekene’s experience above.
    FYI, the best Doctors in US and UK are mainly Nigerians. Now that’s what hurts most in my opinion.
    I have resolved never to step into any hospital in this country anymore. The reason is simple: If I left my sick dad at home instead, he surely would have lived a few more days with us. But the doctors and nurses made sure to take his life faster than God would have granted him

  84. zubi

    June 10, 2016 at 5:20 pm

    It is so sad. My greatest fear in this nation is healthcare. since I was a kid I almost died at general hospital Ontisha,the lesson I learnt from my Dad of his blessed memory is to aggressively get the medics to understand what is called medical emergency. I applied this strategy at this same LASUTH when a little nephew had kidney issue and it worked. We don’t need to yell or scream at medics before they save lives. This is institutional failure. Quite unfortunate we have to live this way in this Nation. I blame it on the masses for acceptance of this way of life.

  85. Sade

    June 10, 2016 at 7:50 pm

    I had a similar experience in Lasuth that led to the death of my mum

  86. Adetola

    June 10, 2016 at 8:08 pm

    It’s sad to read this. I’m sorry about your dad. The day I rushed my baby sister to the hospital, I had a different mindset of what an emergency setting should be. On getting there, I just began to pray because there was no “emergency” in the emergency. During my compulsory one year in the hospital, I tried to influence people but the decadence was overwhelming. I couldn’t keep it in, I wrote my experience in a diary and knew I’m not a hospital material. Your recommendations are perfect.

    Please accept my condolences.

  87. VOA

    June 11, 2016 at 10:26 am

    My condolences. My son had a fracture few years ago and I felt should not be handled personally being a medical practitioner- ethics issue. The surgeon that was supposed to reduce d fracture did not know who I was and I also pretended to be nobody and played along with them in d govt hospital- federal. My pretense did not last because few of our colleagues working in d same hospital that saw me in their institution were curios and all stayed back seeing me. It took 10 good hrs to reduce the fracture that was not eventually done well , this took me just 30mins to fix by myself- ethics aside. My learned surgeon then apologized later that they should have told him I am a colleague. I made him realize it was irrelevant. All that is required of him is to be diligent in his work.
    If u ask me PRIVATIZATION IS THE KEY! Can I have ghost worker on my payroll as a private estb? VERY MUCH SORRY ABOUT YOUR LOSS!

  88. gboe

    June 11, 2016 at 4:19 pm

    My condolences. But I can’t fail to notice some things.
    1. It took too long to take your dad to the hospital – this is typical of our people as we try all we can to avoid going to an hospital, some even try native medications. I’m sure his breathing did not suddenly deteriorate. What were you doing during the earlier phase? One major reason the white man has better outcome is because patients present to hospital early.

    2. A hospital is not a prison. Once you sense that service provided is not up to par, move your patient elsewhere.

    3. If indeed a tracheostomy was deemed necessary, nobody will wait for a CT scan before doing one.

    4. For some investigations eg CT and ultrasound , findings are usually dependent on the experience of the person doing it. So a doctor may request for it to be done at a facility he trusts. Usually from previous experience. Expecially if the hospital does not have the equipment,.

    5. How come your dad eat before the first proposed CT. Who fed him against instructions.

    6. when your dad was eventually sent for at 8pm. Is it because the surgeons were doing some other cases in theatre, or they were idle. This is because theatre space is not first come first serve! If they know your dad’s case is terminal despite intervention there is another patient who might survive with timely intervention, they will likely chose to do that first.

    7. your recommendations are however very good, but do we have a listening government?

    Once again accept my condolences.

    • Chi

      June 11, 2016 at 11:09 pm

      ….that’s a lie!!! Americans do not present at the ER hospital any earlier than a typical Nigerian. Hence, why Emergency medicine is a booming business here and ER Health professionals are paid higher. Now if you talk about preventive health then maybe you can say that more Americans see their Primary care Doc. More regularly than the typical Nigerian. …that is because Americans have standards of care for every single health condition. Where can we find the Nigerian standard of care, protocol or guidelines?
      If you read the story well you will see that they moved their dad from one hospital to the LAGOS STATE TEACHING HOSPITAL.
      Tell me, how do you propose they transport a patient that requires 24hrs oxygen use in a personal car. —pls don’t talk about things you do not know.
      Unfortunately, the dad died from gross negligence from the hand of the staff.
      The patient and the family made the right decision to be at what they thought was the best hospital in their part of Lagos.
      Now if you know of any other hospitals that have better standard of care or better emergency care in Nigeria. Pls share, so that we can all avoid Lagos state teaching hospital in the case of emergency.

      Have you ever been desperate & felt helpless? …that is what that family felt during those three days.
      Nigerians have to stand together & fight the negligence in our health system. Look at countries that we are richer than like Cuba have better health systems that we do. It is so sad & his story broke my heart.
      Emeka, I will suggest you set a precedent & sue the hospital and the staff at the ER. Not for money, but start a revolution that any life matters in the Nigerian healthcare system. I am so sorry about your dad. Use your platform to help Nigerians. Pls. Go back to that hospital & make a secret video of all those nurses & doctors that touched your dad & publicize them, so people will learn.
      Do you think Americans are better people than Nigerians…no it’s because they have an organized way to track people and their wrong doings & punish them appropriately like loss of license to ever practice, malpractice law suits against the health professional & the hospital, bad record that prevent a doc. Or nurse from getting another job. Hence, people are better behaved here. We don’t have that inNigeria.

    • Ekene Som Mekwunye

      June 14, 2016 at 1:25 pm

      Thanks for your condolence. Just a quick response to your points
      1. If you read the article well, it was already stated that he had gone for some tests at different hospitals prior to that point. He was wrongly diagnosed of Asthma and thats what they were treating as an out patient. Just could not write everything in one article as it is already to long as it is.

      2. I wish there was an elsewhere. We had been to several places. And by the way, teaching hospitals are places believed to have the experts. So where else? pray not to find yourself in such position.

      3. Hence the problem. But that was also pointed out in the article when the HOD came to check him. If you read it well, you would have picked that.

      4. I agree. Just wished that was always the case

      5. Its was already getting to evening with no assurance an ambulance was coming. Would you continue starving a 68year old in that situation?

      6. The theater was free from 2 pm that they scheduled. They said they were waiting for the material he would change into. That took hours to get from the same building.

      7. I hope so too

  89. Chinedu

    June 17, 2016 at 4:09 pm

    First, I wish to say sorry for ur loss.
    I am a doctor, trained in Nigeria and from my many harrowing experiences have chosen not practice in Nigeria. It is quite sad from the comments I’ve read and from the general attitude that Nigerians have towards “medical practitioners” in this country. I do not excuse the attitude of a few of us who are indeed dispassionate about the work they do or those that are negligent on duty. A lot of us however welcome the notion of patient relatives raising legal actions against hospitals who treat them poorly. That is the only way this issue can be resolved. There is no way u expect a physician to work optimally in the absence of commodities and tools which is the state of things in hospitals all over the country. Your government install doctors who have no experience as health care managers to run these hospital. That is the political will of this country. I am sorry but shout all you may, nothing will change till the government changes its policies on health care and their funding models. Aso rock clinic received three times the allocation of federal teaching hospitals but yet it’s sole patient traveled abroad to receive health care. Let that funding go into the health care system first.
    Doctors go on strike cos of deplorable working states and the whole country turns against them. During the ebola crises, most of us were forced to work without protection, I personally took antivirals during game first lassa fever crises because I was exposed, not due to my negligence but cos the hospital, a federal hospital didn’t have the means to protect all their staff. I have lost colleagues who died saving patients because because of poor funding, their safety was not assured.
    Aloe of medical insurance companies now abound in the country, Nigerians shld register for premium service cos that is the one way u r assured of quality health care delivery these days.
    Sorry again for ur loss but maybe you may just be the voice to bring these issues to light.
    To all those other people airing their disgruntlements and past bad experiences, please sue the hospital and when u win, you will save another r person from experiencing the same thing.

  90. Tunde

    June 23, 2016 at 7:44 pm

    My condolence brother. Shed no tears for your dad for he is in a better place, please reserve that tear for Nigeria – a country where even the number one citizen had to seek treatment abroad for ear infection. I live in the US and my dream is to retire one day in my country but with my experiences during visits and stories like yours, l would rather die in a place where l stand a better chance of being treated with dignity when sick or in death. This story is pathetic and l am sorry that Nigeria disappointed you at a time you most needed her. I think we need to do a better job of screening our politicians and representatives and selecting the ones that would truly love that country and would always give their best.

  91. Dr Ade Adediran

    July 6, 2016 at 6:09 pm

    How Many More Have to Die This Way? Our Letter to Ekene & Family

    Dear Ekene,

    We commiserate with you and your family on the “preventable” loss of your dad, please accept our heartfelt condolences. It saddens our hearts to read your painful true life story which is all too common and yet again shows the dysfunction in the healthcare system in Nigeria. Indeed our healthcare system/structure is in need of urgent attention.
    Having practiced as a healthcare professional for over 10 years in Nigeria it seems like the system is getting worse as no one is held accountable and worse still, there is no alternative.. Everyone therefore accepts the status quo and this is unacceptable! However the change must start with “me” (everyone) in our own little way.

    We need more people to speak out, proffer solutions, start initiatives to address the challenges we face in our healthcare system, some of which you have also been able to highlight in your write up.

    At iDHS.HealthWise we are passionate about bridging the gap in the healthcare system in Nigeria, across Africa and the world as we believe that a good basic standard is the right of every human being.

    As an International organization we are working to help improve the status quo and believe in the needed holistic change which we proffer. We believe every Nigerian deserves the most affordable, accessible and high quality healthcare obtainable.

    We would like to know how we can support your initiative #valuenigerians and hope we can partner in some meaningful way to begin to bring the much needed change and improvement to healthcare delivery systems in Nigeria.
    For more information about us, kindly visit our website http://www.idhshealthwise.com , Follow us on twitter @iDHS_Healthwise or send us an e-mail at [email protected].
    Sincerely,

    Dr Ade Adediran

  92. isioma

    September 11, 2016 at 8:34 am

    So sad!! Take heart Ekene. May his soul rest in peace!

  93. Nelson chucks

    January 8, 2017 at 10:11 pm

    Mr ekene’s story is unbearable and unacceptable but quite frankly it has become all too common to take our loved ones to any nigerian hospital to be treated for minor health problem they come out from the ward straigth to the mortuary and no one is accountable . This is happening because of impunity of those who should be accountable to avoidable loss of live. its high time we wake up as a civil society to fight against negligence of lives , against calousness and quack doctors polluting our hospitals it would have been proactive if mr ekene took his camera to show the world defiency of decency in our hospital on the other hand our hospital is a reflexion of the entire society where the institutions are in total decay or simply a carricature of what transpires elsewhere just look at the sordid condition of our international airport you are ashamed to be a nigerian when you have come through other airports and landed in Murtala airport nothing works the entire system is broken down and no one cares, the schools are thesame you pay for somuch to get nothing

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