Osato Giwa-osagie Just Let Me Down!

Perhaps you once found yourself at embarassing cross-roads....when you felt sorely led down by someone in which you repose a lot of respect.

You hold this fellow in high esteem...but the uncommon regard you accord him seems flung back in your face as he goes a-fumbling. You have misgivings about faulting his actions in public yet you feel compelled to voice out your utter disagreement with the less than noble manner he has conducted himself....in public!

Professor Osato Giwa-Osagie taught me obstetrics and gynaecology in medical school. He enjoyed a lot of admiration and respect from us as students. He was never a bully to students and residents. O&G was divided into OPS, REF, EMM and UFM units. He headed the REF UNIT (reproductive endocrinology and fertility) of O&G .

He pioneered In Vitro Fertilisation in The Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH). I vividly recall how Professor Oladapo Ashiru would saunter into the Modular Theatre in readiness for another round of medical miracle as he collaborated with Professor Giwa Osagie....who we fondly called Osato in his absence! Ashiru's nickname was Asha-Pose....in comical reference to his love for choice dressing and "posing"!

Ashiru had the onerous task of shadowing female ova (eggs) which he extracted at maturity/ ovulation and fertilized with the spouse sperm outside of the body cavity. Osato led the gynae team to reinsert the fertilized ovum back into the patient....and viola! Another wonder baby was on its way to being born!

I had no cause to mention their names in my article on "medi-bullying"....for they related well with us. So when my idol rose up this evening (25th of January, 2015 to contribute to President Jonathan's Town Hall Parley, I left everything else to listen.

I instantly observed that Osato had aged. Splendid!, I said to myself. The professorial chair comes with more purity and higher refinement with age...as Profs are like wines. The older, the more discreet! The more discerning! The wiser! The better!

So you can imagine my shock when the famed Prof opened his mouth to talk. He simply played to the gallery. He claimed that maternal mortality rate has....thanks to the exploits and wizardry of the Jonathan administration...."dropped appreciably". He said the "phenomenal" drop was from 1,000 maternal death per 100,000 births to "merely" 500. And when professors talk, people listen!

What I know for a fact is that our maternal mortality rates are literarily "piercing the clouds"....no thanks to incessant strikes in the health sector. So, I do not know where he got his own statistics from!

I speak from the private sector as a direct observer of atrocities perpetrated especially in obtetrics....as captured in a segment of one of my earlier articles. It states inter alia, that:

"There seems to be a new-found obsession by government for trado-medicine....new legislation....gingles....posters. Skeptical and discerning citizens who were wary of the antics of the trado-practitioners ab initio lost their fears when the goverment started advocating for alternative medicine....even in states where orthodox doctors are in surplus".

"Cautionary calls by us that trado-medicine need only be promoted in climes where the orthodox is inaccessible, unaffordable and in short supply fell on deaf ears. ...as we lost millions of our pregnant women and neonates to (traditional birth attendants) TBAs!"

"The recent call by the Lagos State Deputy Governor on women to refrain from their preference of TBAs to orthodox medicare may be coming rather late!"

"Many women see fetal wastages as an act of God....and factor such deaths into their calculations in birth numbers and birth orders!"

"Most women who register for antenatals in hospitals prefer to give birth at TBAs....resulting in revenue loss to doctors, high incidence of complications requiring interventional surgeries....albeit with bad outcomes for mothers and babies!"

You see, Prof, politics especially of the Nigerian brand in within the domains of the lousy. Human life must be held in sanctity, so you and your peers taught us! Doctors are not expected to make political statements with human lives.

And senior doctors are custodians of medical ethics!

I had similar misgivings when our traditional rulers thronged to Abuja for the famed "one-million march" for Sanni Abacha!

I simply vowed never to prostrate or courtesy in any manner in the presence of such rulers again!

So you see, Prof, however commitedly I might strive to hang on to my admiration of you, you just lost my respect tonight.

And you should bow your head in shame!

Dr Tosin Akindele is a Lagos-based Medical Practitioner and public affairs analyst.

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Articles by Tosin Akindele