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How Infants Die Daily At Jos University Teaching Hospital

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JOS, Nov 11, (THEWILL) - An average of one child per day, born premature and taken to the intensive care unit of the Jos University Teaching Hospital, JUTH to stabilize dies, THEWILL investigation has revealed.

This according to our findings, is because the referral hospital does not have the capacity to sustain power supply in the incubators where the children are kept leading to the daily deaths of infants.

THEWILL investigation revealed that once there is power outage, children who are supposed to be in incubators are left in the dark for the period the black outage lasts.

No fewer than four babies in incubators of the hospital have been confirmed dead in the last 72 hours. The Head, Intensive Care Baby Unit, ICBU, Bose Toma confirmed the deaths to THEWILL.

As the cases of infant mortality increases in the hospital our correspondent gathered that some parents that lost their babies may take the hospital to court over what they insist is negligence on the part of the management of the hospital as they feel that power outages can be better managed by the hospital authority.

Public Relations Manager of JUTH, Mrs. Ngozi Okpara has however debunked talks that power failure was responsible for the deaths claiming that there is a stand-by generator that comes up immediately there is power outage.

But narrating his experience to THEWILL in Jos, a Rotarian, Mr. Duke Dochor Agbaje who lost a baby at the unit last week, said his baby died as a result of power outage. He said the baby did not suffer any infection but was born premature.

According to him: “I thank God I lost my child in JUTH not because he was ill in the real sense of it, but because of ill-equipment in JUTH. The doctors are good but the operating environment needs to be overhauled.”

He said his baby had been under four intensive fluorescent tubes, but each time power failed for one or two hours, he is sure it affected his baby boy and that may have been responsible for his death.

Agbaje narrated how he was forced to call a friend who works in the hospital to inform him of the deplorable power situation in the facility but all he received was pleas that the situation would improve until his baby died.

The Consultant Pediatrician, Dr. Bose Toma, however further explained that children under intensive care could die due to infections or congenital track infections, even as she admitted that occasionally, there were instances the hospital was without electricity.

When asked if electricity outage was solely responsible for the deaths, she stressed that: “Its no secret, you and I know the situation of power in the country” but added however, that they do their best all the same to manage the situation when it occurs.

THEWILL correspondent who went round the hospital discovered that though there is a power generator big enough to power the hospital, it is often out of use due to poor maintenance.