The third fatality in the Queen’s College health crisis has been buried on Thursday.
Praise Sodipo, who lost her parents when she was only eight years old, died after an outbreak of bacterial infection spread through contaminated water.
About 1,222 students fell ill and 16 others were hospitalised.
According to Praise’ guardian Lawrence Otun;
The sickness started from the school, but they refused to inform us. It was when my wife went to pick her for the midterm break that she discovered that the girl had been terribly sick and was admitted to the sickbay. She took her to a hospital.
We were treating malaria when a doctor advised that we do a scan. The scan showed she had liver enlargement. The doctor referred us to Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi Araba. Because it was late, my wife brought her home.
When I, however, saw how she was breathing, I quickly rushed her to a private hospital around 11pm where she was placed on a drip till the following morning. We were advised to do another scan.
The new result showed that she had perforated intestine due to chronic typhoid said to have been caused by the contaminated water in the school.
Lawrence state Praise was transferred to Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) where she was operated upon. He said she was then transferred to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).
Lawrence said she was placed on life support after she started convulsing and went into coma.
Sadly, Praise passed on last Friday.
“The girl could have become a great leader in the future, but her life was cut short by the carelessness of some people. The former principal and the Federal Government must pay for this,” a family friend, Steven Babatunde said.
Lawrence said the deceased was the only student from Osun state admitted to the school on merit four years ago.
Praise was laid to rest at Atan Cemetery, Yaba, Lagos State at about 11AM.
A short service of songs was conducted by Pastor Joseph Ekato of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, City of Refuge Parish before the deceased was interred.
Her interment followed a statement by Jonathan Mbaka, the Director of Basic and Secondary Education, Federal Ministry of Education that lapses in the ministry led to the death of the outbreak and subsequent death of the three students.
“I must confess that there were lapses in the ministry concerning the report filed by the Education Quality Assurance team.
The report was submitted to the directorate of that ministry. But the directorate didn’t pass the report to other departments for action. They just kept it in the office.
Unfortunately, it was this week that I was able to get access to that report. It is a little lapse on our part. But it is a procedural issue and when procedure has existed for too long, to change it becomes an issue. No one expected such to happen; other reports had been kept like that and nothing happened,” Mbaka said.
Mbaka also faulted the former principal of the school Dr. Lami Amodu who denied the health crisis, adding that people are trying to bring the reputation of the school down.
He added that it was after Amodu was transferred, that the new principal reported the health crisis.
Mbaka said: “The challenge we had was that the facts were not coming to us. I can inform you that I have visited the school three times. When I visited the school, I postponed the resumption for two weeks when I saw what was on ground.”
“We have discovered that there is a failure in the system. This has opened our eyes to a lot of things. And we have agreed that after this issue, we will visit each of the unity schools for assessment. With this, I believe that we will not have a repeat of such,” he added.
Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu has also condoled with the families of the victims, adding that the problem is being addressed.