“I want the world to hear my story in the hope that it will lead to curbing future occurrences and ensure that no one else will ever have this kind of story as I do now.” Mr. Ngozi Uchebuego, husband of a twin mother who allegedly died due to doctor’s negligence, vowed. Dominic Adewole writes
Uchebuego, since the death of his wife-Rita, has refused to be consoled. He would not listen to voice of reasoning or consolation; he would not even take his bath, nor eat. All he wants and begged for, is justice for his wife who allegedly died due to doctor’s negligence, barely 10 months after their wedlock.
According to him, Rita died because of carelessness of the doctors on duty. He said, they didn’t attend to her, during and after delivery of a set of twin at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Asaba, Delta state.
Uchebuego, a Land Surveyor by profession has however maintained a ‘no retreat, no surrender’ stance over the matter seeing the dangerous dimension the matter is taking. As such, he and the family of his late wife has written several petitions to all necessary quarters including the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) over the saga.
He has also copied the House of Representatives’ Committee on Public Petitions, Abuja, the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria, the Federal Ministry of Health, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Health and the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs And Social Development, in painful bid to get justice. Most painful and pathetic for Uchebuego is that since the death of his wife, the twins, both girls, she left behind have not stop crying for their mother’s breast milk and whereabouts. He added that, “the sound of their cry usually sorrow my heart.
” As if that was not enough, Uchebuego got to know about the death of his wife on the pages of newspaper and not directly from the hospital where his wife went for delivery of their children! He explained that the Medical Director of the hospital, Dr. Victor Osiatuma, whom he accused of shielding offenders and providing escape route for quackery in the profession goofed when he said his wife reacted negatively to the blood administered on her and unfortunately, she died.
According to him, Dr. Osiatuma made the statement on the pages of a national daily before the hospital management informed him of the cause of his wife’s death. Uchebuego cried uncontrollably, displaying the babies while briefing journalists in Asaba three days ago.
He wept that he did not know that he would be a victim of such negligence, “I have heard gory tales and read of a few on the pages of newspaper or books, little did I know that I will be standing here today to tell the world of my own gory tale.
The tales that many Nigerians suffer in silence everyday because of the decadence and anti-oath practices in the Nigerian health sector.
Narrating how the doctors got it wrong totally, the bereaved husband said Dr. Ojenuwa Abiodun who is the consultant in charge of his wife examined his wife’s condition March 6, and discovered that she had a high B.P of 160/100mmHg. So, he called a conference of the medical practitioners in the Ante-Natal group in other to take a concrete decision.
“The conclusion of the team of doctors, was that two days from that day which was to be March 9, Dr. Anunobi who was at the conference, was to induce my wife after he must have taken out the first two preceding days of March 7th and 8th to prepare and work up the patient for the IOL.
Dr. Ojenuwa stated that his instruction was that, the following investigations were to be done by Dr. Anunobi on the March 7th and 8th before induction is to be done on the 9th, after the test result must have been communicated to him.
The investigations were; PVC, GROUPING CROSS MATCHING OF 2.0 UNITS OF BLOOD, URINALYSIS FOR GLUCOSE PROTENURIA (Which means to check for excess amount of protein in the urine of my wife).
He continued, “Dr. Longway on the other hand, expressly stated that he went on to evaluate and prep my wife for caesarean without the use of her case-note.
This, I consider reckless and unprofessional, given that vital information may be contained in the case note of the patient. Dr. Longway asserted that in order to ascertain the status of some contents of the absent case-note he called Dr. Maduakor to ask about the emergency status, grade of caesarean section, findings of last clinical examination by Obstetricians. Buttressing his points, the deceased husband asked why queries were issued against some doctors over negligence.
He said, “My wife’s life was simply placed like that of a chicken ready for the slaughter due to medical negligence. It will interest the public to know that Dr. Ojenuwa, upon realizing the obvious neglect to his instructions which led to the death of my wife, issued a query dated 5th April to Dr. Anunobi, Dr. Iyiola and Dr. Osemeke, for not following his instructions to only conduct the routine follow up investigations requested whilst stabilizing my wife’s hypertension.
“In the said query, Dr. Ojenuwah demanded to know why the IOL was done on the March 7th day rather than the tentative March 9th March.
Why the results of the requested investigation was not communicated to him prior to the IOL etc. He continue, “But to Dr. Ojenuwah’s utter disappointment, the Medical Director, in his usual way of romancing and encouraging staff gross indiscipline instructed that Dr. Anunobi to disregard the query.
This was the same outcome to the queries issued by Dr. Ojenuwah to Dr. Iyiola and Dr. Osemeke for absenting themselves from the Ante Natal Conference meeting which considered the health condition of my wife.
” He added that, “the silence of many victims of the Nigerian Health sector has encouraged the prevalence and provided an enabling environment for this man-made wreckage to thrive at the expense of Nigerian lives.” However, Uchebuego called for a complete overhaul of the medical personnel at the hospital, accusing the Medical Director of complicity by frustrating every attempt to get justice.
“It is my demand that all medical personnel involved in the death of my wife be brought to book. There should be a complete overhaul of the obviously incompetent administration of the FMC, Asaba, which has led to the death of many expecting mothers in recent times as well as the numerous amount of babies that die at the hands of their doctor,” he said.
Speaking with New Telegraph on the vacuum his wife’s sudden death has created, Hon. Shaddrack Opia, a widower of three children, who has not recovered from the shock of similar plight at the FMC, Asaba. He recalled the last minute moment with his late wife and response of one of the Doctor’s shortly after his wife was buried that ‘Don’t worry, you will soon reover from it.
‘ He blamed his calmness on his religious background, which he lamented, forbids him from taking vengeance. “I would have killed one of the doctors before going to join my wife. If not for Christianity, what I would have done to one or two of the doctors and nurses that were involved in my wife’s case would have sent the rank and file at the hospital packing or creative an atmosphere of public disorder.
” Reacting to Uchebuego’s complaint, the management of the hospital constituted a twoman probe-panel, comprising Prof. Fasuba of OAU Teaching Hospital and Dr. Ande of UBTH, to investigate the matter and other recent maternal deaths in FMC Asaba.
Dr. Osiatuma wondered why the deceased husband was acting inappropriately on the complications the patient suffered during the critical period of child bearing.
While he sympathized with the husband and family of the deceased woman, he said since the various agencies of government have been petitioned, the family should not preempt the outcome. Dr. Osiatuma maintained that doctors took oath to preserve life and not to destroy it, hence Mrs. Rita could not have been killed by the Doctors that attended to her on the fateful day
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