Murder!!! 4 Nigerian Students ‘killed’ By University Doctors’ In 4 Months (UNILAG, UNIPORT, UI, LAUTECH
Something is killing Nigerian students, right in the institutions where they are supposed to be learning skills that will make them useful to themselves, their families and the nation. It is not violence, cultism, hunger, illnesses or terrorists.
The things that is killing them is the very thing that should be keeping them alive and fit to fulfil the purpose that brought them to the universities in the first place – Hospitals, clinics, doctors, nurses and the whole medical apparatus.
The most recent murder committed by these supposed life savers was witnessed on Tuesday the 8 of September 2015, the black day on which a potential first class graduate of the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Miss Oluchi Anekwe, died after an unfortunate accident involving electric cables.
The original story was that she was electrocuted to death after the 330 KVA cable belonging to the Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC) fell on her.
First blames went to the UNILAG authorities, then the attention turned to EKEDC. No one knew that the school medical team had something to do with the loss of such a rare national asset asAnekwe.
She is not a lone victim, as other like Miss Kelechi Precious of the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT), Mayowa Alaran of theUniversity of Ibadan (UI) and Kolawole Fatai Morenikeji of the Ladoke Akintola, University of Technology (LAUTECH) Ogbomosho, have all gone to ‘waste’ in similar manner.
Before we go into the facts and assumptions about their deaths, it is important to state that, speaking as candidly as possible, Nigerian tertiary institutions are on a zero level when it comes to welfare of the students they are set up to serve.
When it comes to health and safety, one can hardly point to one excellent institution, more so with the State and Federal Government owned ones.
HOW DID THEY DIE?
1. Miss Oluchi Anekwe of the University of Lagos (UNILAG) – electrocuted on the street in August
2. Miss Kelechi Precious of the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT) – slumped in her hostel in August
3. Kolawole Fatai Morenikeji of the Ladoke Akintola, University of Technology (LAUTECH) – slumped at a football match in June
4. Mayowa Alaran of the University of Ibadan (UI) – slumped while watching a match in May
MAYOWA ALARAN, University of Ibadan (UI) – slumped in May
The case of Mayowa Alaran, a 200 Level student of Human Kinetics at the University of Ibadan (UI) is still fresh on his colleagues’ minds. The facts are not very clear, as students and management present a different version of events. What is certain is that Alaran slumped while watching the UEFA Champions League match between Barcelona and Bayern Munich with fellow students at the Independence Hall of residence.
Students allege that they rushed him to the University Health Services, known as Jaja Hospital, where nurses on duty requested for his clinic card and matric number instead of instantly attending to him.
He died before the issue could be resolved. But the university had a less damning version.
KOLAWOLE FATAI MORENIKEJI, Ladoke Akintola, University of Technology (LAUTECH) – slumped in June
Kolawole Fatai Morenikeji died in June. He was until his death a 400 level Chemical Engineering student of the Ladoke Akintola, University of Technology (LAUTECH) Ogbomosho. His death is a tragic one. He was reported to have slumped while playing a novelty match organized by his Department and was rushed to the school clinic where he died, allegedly due to poor facilities and negligence according to one of his who spoke to Linda Ikeji.
“They gave him breathing tube and tried to cajole us when they knew there was no oxygen in the cylinder,” the student said.
“It was when they knew things were getting out of hand that they told us to rush him to Bowen Hospital Ogbomosho, few miles away from the Campus.
“We requested for the Health center Ambulance but we were told the driver was sent to buy food, so we hustled our way by hiring a car that conveyed us.”
No matter the official spin that followed, one fact remains that there were inadequate facilities at the clinic to offer the services that students pay for.
KELECHI PRECIOUS of the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT) – slumped in August
On the 30 of August, a 200 level student of Theatre Art and Film Study of the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT), Miss Kelechi Precious, slumped in her bathroom and died not too long after.
According to the testimony of her roommate, oneKainti Dauebimoere who spoke to The Nation, she was rejected for lack of space at the university’s teaching hospital. She died before an alternative could be found.
“That was how we got a car around 5:45 am to take her to UPTH at accident and emergency ward. But the doctors who were there said there was no bed space,” Dauebimoere said.
“We pleaded that we are going to use the car as her bed, but they refused.”
Her testimony was backed by a final year student of the same department as the deceased, Judith Oyila, who later led student protesters to shut down the hospital.
“She died because of neglect by the doctors and nurses in that hospital,” Oyila said.
“How could it be that a student slumped and students rushed her to UPTH but the doctors left her for over six hours without treatment and the poor girl died?
Again, hospital staff indicted.
OLUCHI ANEKWE of the University of Lagos (UNILAG) – electrocuted in August
Barely two weeks after Miss Kelechi’s passing, Nigeria lost another promising student in the person of Miss Oluchi Anekwe, a 300l Student of the department of Accounting at UNILAG who was gunning for a first class degree.
She was just walking on her own when a high tension cable fell on her and electrocuted her, but she did not die on the spot according to the testimony of one Damilola Dairo which was published by Osun Defender. Dairo’s testimony indicted the medical staff, again!
“When the incident happened, she was rushed to the school’s Medical Centre in the school.
“At the medical Centre the staff on duty asked for her student Identification card which she couldn’t produce.
“The staff of the medical Centre left her to her Fate which resulted in her death around 9pm that same day. Not the lie about her been rushed to LUTH.”
What binds all these cases together is the fact that medical staff negligence, combined with poor facilities actually killed these students.
By implication, their lives could have been saved.
WHAT IS WRONG?
As an ordinary citizen that is not knowledgeable about how a university or a medical center is run, one may not be able to give precise suggestions or solutions, but it only takes a bit of commonsense to know that there are a lot wrong in Nigerian universities:
1. There are inadequate medical facilities at almost all tertiary institutions
2. Most institutions have no provision for first aid services or trainings for students
3. Hospital staff have very poor attitude to their patients and would be patients
4. There seems to be a belief that school health services are free when, in actuality, students have paid for it with their tuition
5. Acceptable safety standards are not respected, especially in students hostels
In addition, many students are ill without even knowing it, as is seen in three of the cases discussed above. That three students collapsed and died without clear reason indicates that they have been ill for a while.
WHAT CAN BE DONE?
If progress must be made with regards to provision of health services and a reoccurrence of such tragedies are to be forestalled, there is a need for deliberate steps which include:
1. Revamping university health services
2. Providing compulsory routine check-ups for all students
3. Instructing medical staff of universities to first provide treatment before observing protocols
4. Train students on basic first aid techniques
5. Create and maintain mini clinics/first aid centres across the universities, especially student hubs and hostels
6. Provide a functional university helpline that all students can call
If we allow the death of Anekwe to fall by the roadside of public discourse, like the three before her, there may be many more names yet to be turned into trending hashtags amongst the student populace.
Universities managements must be forced to protect students and ensure that health services are up to standard and safety procedures are followed.
Otherwise, let’s wait for the next life to be wasted.
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