WHEN HOSPITALS TRADE WITH HUMAN LIVES
The sanctity of human life is so serious that many individuals and countries attach capital punishment to the crime of taking another man's life without authority or for some economic gain.
Whenever taking of life is mentioned, people's mind often conjure up assassins, police, military, corrupt judges, extra judicial killing (mob action) or even diabolical means which is often called African science but none of these is as painful as one lost where lives are supposed to be saved especially for possible economic reasons.
Hospital according to Oxford advanced learner's dictionary is a large building where people who are ill/sick or injured are given medical treatment and care.
Anybody walking into a hospital for their services has one of two things in mind, to be treated or to be checked and advised but the alarming thing these days has to do with a situation where people walk in alive and are carried out dead.
The rate of its occurrence has crossed red line especially in the commercial city of Onitsha in Anambra State.
It is dangerous to keep quiet at this moment when people who are barely sick are being trucked to the morgue from the hospital.
The number of people surviving hospital treatment is dwindling by the day.
On the 14th day of February which millions all over the world especially young ones celebrated St.
Valentine, my neighbour's wife was in heart rending mourning as her husband of four years was laid to rest.
What happened? On the morning of January 28, 2014, he complained to his wife that he noticed that something was moving in his stomach and would like to go to hospital to check what it could be.
As a good wife, she joined her husband and he (husband) drove to the hospital in their car.
The hospital ran series of scans and told him that there was nothing in his stomach and nothing wrong with him.
He told the doctor that since nothing was wrong with him, he wants to go and prepare for market and come back if he ever noticed anything again and it was at this point his wife excused herself to go home and prepare their two toddlers for school while her husband was still discussing with the doctor.
The doctor insisted that he has to be administered intravenous infusion (drip) before leaving the hospital but he refused basing his argument on that nothing was found wrong with him.
The hospital insisted and when he agreed, he had to call his wife to tell her of the development and why he would not return in time not knowing he had seen his family and house for the last time.
My neighbour, being on the bulky side could be suffering from high blood pressure which has become the biggest silent killer in our world today.
He was put on infusion which could be saline type that could be harmful to high-BP patients when administered in large dose.
According to his death story, the infusion was administered on him and within few minutes, he told them to remove the infusion that it was clogging his chest but the hospital would not listen as they are more interested in revenue than in their patients.
Out of pain he removed it himself when he knew that the hospital would not and probably did not understand what he was passing through.
He fell off the bed gasping for breath, started reacting violently and I can only painfully imaging how rampaging that would be judging by his hugeness.
The hospital tied both the hands and legs of a dying man gasping for breath till he took his last and that was it.
In a situation like that, is tying the patient the only or best option? Whatever happened to the rope, I do not know but could probably be kept for another victim.
He walked in alive and was carried out to the morgue in a little above two hours and his three kids are today fatherless and his wife who is not even up to 30 years is now a widow.
The same careless medical treatment befell a middle aged man as unqualified nurse in another hospital in the same Onitsha injected him to an early grave.
The nurse was recruited by one of the common private hospital names in the city of Onitsha who never went to any nursing school but was just a nursing school applicant and the hospital allowed her to handle syringe which could be attributed to the failure of government regulatory agency.
The victim was an outpatient who came for treatment and was through with them but was told to stay behind for an injection.
The untrained nurse came with her syringe of death and emptied the whole of procaine penicillin on the man when she was supposed to administer a test dose to see if he would react to it.
If she had given him a test dose, he would have reacted to it and the remainder would have been discarded and innocent man's life would have been spared.
Of course as she emptied all on the man, he slumped and the hospital had no oxygen to aid him to recovery and he died in the process of pandemonium among the medical staffers.
He walked in himself but was carried out dead in less than one hour.
His children are fatherless today and their mother a widow.
These so called private hospitals employ unqualified personnel, use out dated instruments and methods, apply unnecessary treatment just to increase bill and the result has been fatal, increasing number of deaths and increase in patronage of phony traditional herbalist.
All these are happening in a state where there is supposedly ministry of health and I wonder what they could be doing if number of people walking out of hospitals alive are far less to numbers walking in.
Anambra state is one of the few states in Nigeria that have eradicated polio and was promptly commended by European Union leaving one wondering if our ministry of health is now ministry of polio.
Nobody is condemning polio eradication but the ministry should not pursue it at the expense of other health issues, after all, what is the happiness of saving children from polio who by your own negligence are likely be made orphans putting their future in great jeopardy? Who even knows if these slaughtering hospitals are even licensed and if they were, who monitors them from time to time for either revalidation or revoke of their licenses? We have seen in the past where ministry of education embarked on inspection of schools especially the so called private schools and many where closed down.
We have seen the work of NAFDAC and SON in various markets and we have seen government tax officers updating their books by chasing shop owners and market men and women.
Then, what is stopping ministry of health to embarking on the same exercise with the hospitals especially these phony ones masquerading as private clinics.
How I wish that we were so organized that federal ministry of health can produce statistics of death for every state and the causes of those deaths and we will be shocked that the issue is the same in the whole federating units and not peculiar to Anambra state.
Written By Obi Ebuka Onochie