The death of a newborn at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) has been blamed on the nationwide strike by the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD).
A man identified as Vincent Abuladan spoke to TheCable on Friday after his sister-in-law, who had a childbirth complication, faced multiple referrals that ended up with them at LUTH, where their child passed away.
Abuladan blamed the non-availability of doctors at the hospitals they visited for the loss of their newborn.
He noted that doctors also weren’t readily available at LUTH to attend to other patients, including their dying child.
“As of yesterday, when I came in, many patients were here. There were no doctors to attend to them due to the strike. It has been a serious situation. People were just lying down, suffering. The government needs to intervene,” he said.
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“Before I left, there was this ambulance that came in with a patient. No doctor was on ground. They were forced to leave. They were even asking them how sure they were that doctors are available at the hospital they were going to.
“It has really affected the people. It’s my brother that made me come here. We lost the baby. One way or the other strike might have affected us too. His wife gave birth in another hospital in Awoyaya, Lekki.
“The child had a complication. He was referred to a hospital in Abraham Adesanya, Ajah. There, we were referred to LUTH. We came here to face the same issue and lost the baby.
“Maybe if we had a doctor, we might not have needed to come here. Maybe they couldn’t handle the case because there was no doctor on ground. It’s a painful situation. We will like the government to come to the aid of the people.”
Afeware Esther, a staff in the obstetrics & gynecology unit, who spoke on behalf of LUTH’s head of nursing services department, said a protocol had been put in place to ensure that all critical cases were attended to.
“We have the consultants on ground, they can’t turn patients back. We can’t close down the hospital because the resident doctors are not on ground. Nurses are working too. Activities may not be much,” she explained.
“It may not be as quick as it used to be. But we have people on ground. We have a roster that allows us to contact the consultants in emergency cases. If there is any procedure to be carried out along with the nurses, they do it.
“The consultants must be around, although not the ones on strike. They look into what’s happening with the patients. Nurses carry out the order prescribed from the case notes. Patients will definitely receive treatment.”