Pesin wey dey lead di #MakeOurHospitalWork Campaign wey also be Oga for TalkHealth Real Media Limited, Dr. Laz Eze don raise alarm say di way wey govt dey fight Covid-19 fit dey kpai plenty people wey no even carry am. According by di post wey he make for im facebook timeline, Dr. Eze lament how some kontri people dey call am dey explain how private hospitals dey reject sick people because of fear. Dia fear na say govt fit accuse di hospital and close am sef if dem admit pesin and later find out say di pesin carry Covi-19. He also talk say protection equipment wey no dey for doctors and other health workers follow dey cause hospital rejection of very sick patients for we kontri.
See as he take write am below with plenty grammar.
COVID-19 REGULATIONS AND LACK OF PPE MAY BE KILLING MORE NIGERIANS THAN COVID-19 INFECTION
Over the past 3 weeks, I have been inundated with calls and social media messages from relatives of patients who were denied medical care or whose care has become irregular due to covid-19 regulations. During the total lockdown, reports of movement restrictions against patients and health workers by law enforcement agents were common. At present, the rejection of seriously ill patients is apparently at an epidemic level.
About 3 weeks ago, I received a phone call from a friend whose Lagos-based inlaw in his 40’s was in respiratory distress after a few days of illness. They had called NCDC, samples were taken for Covid-19 testing and result was being awaited. But no hospital would admit him for treatment. I personally called the medical directors of a couple of private hospitals in Lagos. From what I gathered, I can confirm that private hospitals no longer admit severely ill patients. They said those who managed patients that were later diagnosed of Covid-19 were criminalised, blackmailed and shut down for 3 weeks by the government for doing so. No other hospital wants to risk such treatment.
Since today, I’ve been dealing with another case in Lagos where a man with fever, diagnosed and treated for “malaria and typhoid fever” wasn’t getting better. They contacted NCDC 4 days ago and yet to get a response. The patient doesn’t eat and no hospital has agreed to admit and treat him. The family is frustrated, panicking and scared for his life.
Furthermore, the lack of PPE is also costing lives. This has caused the life of Wisdom – a young man I know personally. He was knocked down 2 weeks ago in Lagos and was reportedly taken to General Hospital Isolo. He was conscious after the accident and suspected to have fracture. He probably lost so much blood, became breathless and was asking for oxygen. He didn’t get needed help and had to move to another hospital. Before a serious intervention could happen, he died.
Some weeks ago, I secured an intervention in a case of a 20 years old cancer patient in Enugu who alleged that her treatment became irregular because of the Covid-19 measures. More so, a colleague also drew my attention to how she lost a relative in Abuja last week who was moving from one hospital to another, after being rejected, till he died. These are just some cases I was directly contacted. There are many others that I’ve heard from my friends in the media.
The data on victims of this tragic outcomes of Covid-19 control measures on potentially Covid-19-free patients is not being tracked, so we may not know the magnitude. However, the implication is that a known asthmatic who has an attack may likely die because private hospitals will reject the person for the fear of being shut down for managing a Covid-19 patient. Public hospitals may also reject because of a lack of personal protective equipment, PPE. Known hypertensive patients with left heart failure and fluid congestion in the lungs may suffer a similar fate. Anyone of us or our loved ones may have a health emergency and may become a victim.
I’m really concerned about this and I pray that the authorities take action on this without delay. I will be forwarding this piece to relevant authorities and platforms until a positive outcome is achieved. If you read up to this point, please kindly do same – forward the message to influential quarters until something good happens. Government must keep doing all that is necessary to #MakeOurHospitalWork for everyone anywhere in Nigeria. Citizens should also play their part by holding government and health workers accountable. May God bless the efforts of the leaders of the Covid-19 control in Nigeria and grant them more wisdom to do what is right and life-saving in every circumstance.
Dr. Laz Ude Eze Convener,
18th June, 2020