- Partner abandons teenage mother at facility
I do not have money to pay. Besides, the loss of the baby is depressing for me. I even begged them to consider my dead baby and empathise with me by reducing the bill, but they rejected all the appeals – Mrs. Funmulayo Adegboye, a petty trader
Eight women, who were newly delivered of babies, have been detained at the Alimosho General Hospital, Igando, Lagos over their inability to pay accrued hospital bills arising from delivery services. Consequent upon this detention, the movement of the affected women has been restricted to the premises of the Maternity and Child Complex (MCC) domiciled at the Alimosho General Hospital.
The women, who often wear uniforms provided by the hospital, are closely monitored by security officials on duty who ensure that they are always restricted within the MCC. Investigation by New Telegraph shows that it is not only security officials that monitor the detained patients, even nurses on duty keep an eye on the patients anytime any of them steps out of the ward where they are being held.
One of the detained women, Fati Mohammed, had now been abandoned by her spouse owing to the couple’s inability to pay baby delivery service fee. Also detained are Mrs. Anna Ifoga, who is a petty trader; Mrs. Funmilayo Adegboye, also a petty trader, and Mrs. Basirat Kosoko.
According to reliable sources, appeal made to the hospital management by the trio of Funmilayo’s husband, Basirat’s father-in-law and Anna Ifoga, last Friday, seeking for them to be released on bond to enable them pay the outstanding bills by instalment while on release, was rejected by the hospital. According to the detained women, staff of the Welfare Unit, who intervened on their behalf, told the patients that the hospital management insisted that each of them must pay the outstanding bills before they would be allowed to go home. Although they had been discharged after baby delivery, they would not leave the premises of the hospital until they settled their bills.
Speaking to New Telegraph, Basirat’s father-in-law regretted that his son, who is Basirat’s husband is out of job, hence was unable to raise money to pay the N149,000 bill for taking delivery of his baby through caesarean section.
However, Basirat’s fatherin- law initially paid N98,000, leaving a balance of N51,000 to be settled later. Both Basirat and the newly delivered baby were held in the health facility in Igando for two weeks until Monday, February 19, when her father-in-law rallied fam-ily and friends to pay the balance of N51,000. On her part, Funmilayo, who also delivered her baby through caesarean section, was rushed to Alimosho General Hospital on emergency. She lost the baby three days after it was delivered.
However, she was given a bill of N103,000. Although her husband, Mr. Adegboye, had paid N15,000, his appeal to the hospital through the Welfare Unit, was similarly rejected. The detained Funmilayo still has an outstanding bill of N88,000 to settle. Adegboye said his appeal to get the N103,000 bill reviewed downward was rejected by the hospital management. He said: “I have tried to raise money to no avail. I am very disturbed about the way the hospital staff are treating my wife now.
“Presently, my wife has been chased away from the hospital bed; she has been sleeping on a chair in the last four days. They no longer allow her to sleep on the bed. “Although she is not also being served food, hospital staff said both the bills for the two daily meals served to patients at the cost of N800 at N400 per meal and the N250 daily for the bed space will continue to run.
“I do not have money to pay. Besides, the loss of the baby is depressing for me. The baby had died in my wife’s womb even before the surgery was done. “I even begged them to consider my dead baby and empathise with me by reducing the bill, but they rejected all the appeals.”
Funmilayo has been ‘detained’ for two weeks. On her part, Anna has paid N118,000 of the N160,000 bill for caesarean section delivery, remaining a balance of N42,000. She has been held in the hospital for one month because of her inability to pay the balance of N42,000. Relating her ordeal, Anna told New Telegraph that she had gone through labour for two days at the Ikotun home of a traditional birth attendant (TBA) and owing to the delayed delivery; she was rushed on emergency to the Alimosho General Hospital, Igando where it was found that the baby had died in her womb.
Similarly, days after the caesarean surgery, it was found that the stitched stomach had collapsed, through which the open wound was emitting pus. She said: “I was taken into the theatre again where the medical doctors stitched the wound for the second time.
“The stiches have, however, healed now, but I have not been released to go home because of my outstanding bills.” Of all the detained women, Fati Mohammed’s case is the most pathetic. She has been in the hospital for over two months.
Fati, who is from Baga in Borno State, does not know her real age, but appeared to be under 20 years. Going by the turn of events, Fati, whose baby also died even before the caesarean surgery was carried out, may have been abandoned to her fate, considering that neither the man who impregnated her, Diri, nor any of those who rushed her to the hospital has been coming to the hospital to check on her.
It is not clear how much has accrued as her total bill for the caesarean section. Although, the baby died, Fati is lucky to have survived. Relating her ordeal, Fati said she fled Borno State after her husband was slaughtered by Boko Haram members. Also, she said she did not know where the only son of that relationship was presently.
Fati followed others who were fleeing from Boko Haram in Borno, in a trailer to Lagos State and on getting to Lagos, however, she cohabited with some Hausa-speaking people at Alaba in Ojo area of Lagos, where a young Hausa indigene, driving commercial motorcycle, later impregnated her. She said after falling into labour for two days, she was rushed to the Alimosho General Hospital, Igando, where it was found that her baby had died in her womb. Hence, the surgical operation was conducted on her and the dead baby removed. She said: “I did not attend any antenatal throughout the nine months of the pregnancy. However, when labour set in, I laboured for two days but could not be delivered of the baby.”
The caesarean surgery conducted on her to remove the dead baby at the Alimosho General Hospital was successful, but she has not been able to settle the bill. When asked how much the bill amounted to, she said only the nurses could say.
The sad aspect of it is that after visiting Fati on a few occasions but could not pay the bill, Diri, Fati’s spouse stopped further visits to check on her. Presently, Fati disclosed that the man who impregnated her had absconded. Both Fati’s father and mother were killed by the Boko Haram insurgents way back before she arrived Lagos. On how she has survived in the last two months that the hospital management restricted her movement, Fati explained that the hospital had been kind enough to be giving her food daily. She said the meal of patients who could not eat due to health challenge, was sometimes given to her, considering that she had no other source of food or income.
“Sometimes, when some patients cannot eat their food, they will give me the food. I also beg for water to drink,” Fati said. Efforts to get the reaction of the Public Relations Officer of Alimosho General Hospital failed. However, a reliable source in the hospital told New Telegraph that most of the patients being held for inability to pay their bills, were unbooked patients.
They were referred cases from other hospitals brought in on emergency, which the facility responded to, saving their lives, based on its Motto: ‘Patient First’. According to the source, if they had come to the Alimosho General Hospital from the onset of their medical care, especially in care of antenatal, “that way, at least 50 per cent of their bill would have been paid before delivery.”
The source said the hospital battled to save their lives before asking for money. “In order to extend life-saving services to patients on emergency too, the hospital needs to have recurring cash for that,” the source added.
Kogi Massacre: Gov Bello to set up commission of enquiry
Muhammad BashirLokojaGovernor Bello of Kogi State, yesterday, said he would set judicial commission of enquiry to unravel the killing at Oganenigu in Dekina local government area, by those he described as armed bandits. Suspected Fulani herdsmen had on Wednesday, attacked communities at Dekina, Omala and Bassa local governments where about 50 people, including children were killed and several houses set ablaze. The governor, who was addressing the detachment of Nigeria Army camp, at the neighbouring community said his administration is passionate about human lives. “I want to assure the people of Igalaland and people of the entire state that the state under my watch will not shy away from is responsibility. The primary responsibility of every government is to protect the lives and properties of it citizens,” the governor added.
He equally promised to provide basic amenities to the people of the area. Meanwhile, some of the survivors, who spoke with Sunday Telegraph said the assailants invaded them in the early hours of last week Wednesday. Smaila Maji, while narrating his ordeal, said the herdsmen came into the village and began to shoot on site.
”The attack took us by surprise around 8am on Wednesday. As they entered the city they started shooting at the natives sporadically. Our people tried to repel the attackers but were overwhelmed as they were over 500 in number,” he said. He said the people had no option but to run for their livesas the herders continued to shoot at them with their AK47. According to him, the attackers killed about 25 people instantly, while many of people are missing; they also killed about six people at Ogbakaka. “In fact, we are searching for more bodies,” he said. Maji furthered that the attacker carted away foodstuffs, physical cash and about 45 motorcycles belonging to the natives.
“There is virtually no young man, who is not having a motorcycle. Our people have moved out in droves to neighboring villages. The village has no police station andno health facility,” he added. Mr. Aaron Baba who lost his father during the attack, toldSunday Telegraph that the attackers came in wearing military Camouflage.”They came in took us by surprise. They came in military camouflage with AK47, AK45 and AK49 you can see the empty bullet shells scattered all over.”I am appealing to Government for assistance. We have been friendly with Fulani to the extent of engaging in trade by Bata until recently when they started acting like Boko Haram.” Another survivor, Ibrahim Shaibu said the attackers did not only shoot and slaughter his people, they also set houses ablaze while the occupants were still sleeping.
PDP links importation of military gadgets to Kogi massacre
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said there appeared a link between the attack in Kogi State that led to death of 50 people and the illegal importation of military gadgets by persons allegedly linked to the state government.
The party said the people should hold Kogi State government and the All Progressives Congress (APC) responsible for the massacre.
PDP said in a statement yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan that after a thorough analysis of the circumstances and events preceding the attack, “there are crucial pointers that the APC and the Kogi State government have very serious questions to answer.”
The party noted that the attack was preceded by revelations of importation of military gadgets by persons allegedly linked to the APC and the Kogi State Government.
According to the statement, APC and Kogi State government must respond to the question troubling the minds of Nigerians on the perceived clandestine involvement in activities that must have encouraged or aided those behind the attack.
“From every indication, there is no how one can exonerate the APC and its administration at the federal and Kogi State levels from this evil against the people,” the party said.
It noted that President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration did not take any definite steps to ensure adequate security in the ravaged communities despite series of alarms of security threats, including the exposed illegal smuggling of military gadgets into the state.
“In spite the allegations by the people of Kogi State that the military equipment were being delivered to suspected marauders, the Buhari-led Federal Government did not take an decisive steps to arrest and investigate those fingered in the illegal trafficking, particularly the already indicted aides of Kogi State governor, Yahaya Bello.
“This raises questions of conspiracy against the people by the APC government both at the federal and Kogi State levels,” PDP stated.
It wondered why did the Federal Government failed to deploy adequate security to the communities in the face of obvious threats and why has the presidency refused to take any firm step to investigate the illegal importation of military equipment into Kogi State, even when such gives a clue as to how marauders gain access to weapons?
“Furthermore, why did the APC, as a ruling party, fail to condemn the illegal importation of security gadgets or even caution its government in Kogi State, if it is not also involved in the illicit act that is now being linked to this massacre?
“Now that the deed has been done, all we get are apathetic statements and crocodile tears from the Federal and Kogi State governments while those behind the act are still walking free and probably targeting their next victims.
“The PDP resolutely condemn this obvious betrayal of the people by the APC-controlled government. We insist that life is sacred and must not be used as a pawn by any person to achieve any aim under any guise whatsoever.
“While we commiserate with the victims of the attack, we insist that the presidency and the Kogi state government must be put to task on these killings. The truth must be exposed,” the statement added.
Buhari cancels trip to Rwanda
President Muhammadu Buhari has cancelled a trip to Rwanda for the extraordinary meeting of African Union heads of state and government.
Presidential sources told TheCable that Buhari suddenly cancelled the meeting scheduled to hold in Kigali, capital of the country, on Wednesday.
The president would have departed for Kigali on Monday. He was supposed to sign the framework agreement for establishing the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA).
On Wednesday, the federal executive council consented to Nigeria signing the framework agreement for the CFTA.
The council had also approved that Nigeria expresses its interest to host the secretariat of the CFTA.
CFTA is the first step in the implementation of “AU Agenda 2063: the vision for an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa”.
A team, comprising protocol staff, security officers and journalists, who were preparing to take off, were asked to return from Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.
No reason was given for the development.
Femi Adesina and Garba Shehu, spokesmen of the president, are yet to speak on the issue.
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