Olamide Famuwagun of the Punch wrote in a report published on the media house’s website on how residents of the Ogun Waterside Local Government Area of Ogun State suffer the loss of loved ones due to the lack of required health personnel in Ibiade General Hospital, a facility expected to serve the entire council.
Sodiq Barihu, 46, lost his wife and firstborn child to the cold hands of death on what should have been a happy day.
Barihu would never have guessed, with a sigh on his lips and a dejected tone, that he would suffer two losses in a single day.
On August 15, 2022, the businessman had taken his pregnant wife, Stella, to the Ibiade General Hospital, but there was no doctor available to care for her.
While narrating the incident to Punch correspondent, Sodiq said his wife bled to death for the absence of quick response.
He said, “My wife usually goes for antenatal at a government-approved maternity centre, Agbure but on that day she couldn’t go there because the maternity centre had not opened. I immediately rushed her to the Ibiade General Hospital relieved that she would deliver successfully there, however, there was no doctor around.
“They didn’t even admit us. One of the nurses there just referred us to Ijebu Ode. At that time, the baby was already out but my wife was bleeding. On our way to Ijebu General Hospital, I lost my baby and my wife.”
Barihu stated that the loss had rendered him unable to think of anything else, and that the deaths had caused him problems with the family of his deceased wife.
He said, “The two doctors we have are coming from Ijebu Ode, they’re not coming from Ogun Waterside which makes it very difficult to respond to emergencies. These doctors don’t come regularly as well. The case passed through the Ogbere Area Command. The loss did not make me think of any other thing, there have been many issues between me and my wife’s family because of this. She wasn’t sick, it’s because the doctor wasn’t around.’’
The 46-year-old urged the government to increase hospital staffing in order to prevent cases like his.
He said, “I urge the government to please provide qualified doctors that can be at Waterside permanently and not one who is part-time. To do this, they need more hands so that when there are cases that are critical such as this, they will be able to give quick response time.”
The Ogun Waterside Local Government Area is located in Abigi, Ogun State, and is the only area on the Bight of Benin. It is primarily inhabited by Ijebus, Ilajes, and Ikales.
The council, which has a population of 126,200 people, is bounded in the west by Ijebu East Local Government, in the north and east by Ondo State, and in the south by Lagos State and the Atlantic Ocean.
This local government is located in Southwest Ogun State and borders Ijebu East Local Government Area. This local council development area includes several villages.
The LGA’s towns and villages include Abigi, Ode Omi, Agbede, Agbure, Agerige, Agilla, Agodo, Aiyede, Aiyesan, Ajegunle, Apata, Araromi Odo, Araromi Oke, Arokola, Ayetunmara, Bolorun Duro, Efire, Gbagi, Ibiade, Ibu, Igbafo, Ijebu Manuwa, Ita Out, Itabaiye Itatufolu, Italugade, Itebu, Kesumeta, Leren, Logbosere, Logede, Lokula, Lomiro, Lukugbe, Makun, Moba, Oka, Okakota, Ologbu,Oruiye, Ranger,Sunbare, Tagbu Nrin, Tayoku, Tibada, Tigara, Tilagbe, Toga, Togunren, Toso, Ilusin, Isekun, Ita Ogun, Urhobo, Yemoje, Zion, Iteju Elero, Lofoluwa, Logbosere, Momiro, More, Okebi, Ajegunle, Araromi, Araromi Obu, Arijan, Ayede, Ayila, Batedo, Edunola Igodankuda, Gbaragada Ibu, Idobilayo, Alo, Demolu, Ebute Oni, Idata Akila, Igele, Imeki, Itomosafeso, Iwopin, Lumuganran, Molofe, Molopope, Ologbun Orita, Omo, Olojumeta, Oni Shalu, Oribu, Oriegbe, Oriyanrin, Sumoge, Aba,Aba Olori, Abusoro, Agbala Irokun, Ago Ariye, Ajimo, Akede II, Awodikora Iganla, Awodikora Osa, Awodikora Seafu, Eba Igboedu,Ebute Okun, Ibodu, Igbo Edun, Irokun, Ito Aro, Itomowa-I Tolabase, Liyewu, Makun Omi, Mofere, Moha, Mosefejo, Obimilehin, Okun Akede, Okun Awodikora, Okun Elufon,, Okun Igbosere, Okun Ilete, Olokun Olosumeta, Igbo Ala, Ijako, Ipakemore, Ajelanwa.
Tosho Street, Ibiade, Ogun Waterside, Ogun Waterside Local Government, Ogun State is the address of the Ibiade General Hospital. It was founded on May 18, 1960.
The Nigeria Ministry of Health has licensed the general hospital.
During Punch’s correspondent’s visit to the hospital, she noticed that the hospital, which was previously dilapidated, had been renovated in some areas while others remained bushy.
There was only one doctor and three nurses on duty, and many patients were seen scattered around the hospital, awaiting their turn to be treated.
A particular health worker was observed to be a helter-skelter because a labor shortage had forced him to take on multiple roles at once.
Many patients were also seen lingering around the hospital grounds with despondent expressions on their faces, waiting to be seen.
According to our correspondent, the general hospital is the only hospital in the council and is supposed to serve the entire LGA and its surroundings.
It was discovered that the doctors did not live in the community but in Ijebu Ode, making it even more difficult to respond to medical emergencies because the journey from Ibiade, where the hospital is located, to Ijebu Ode is 1 hour and 19 minutes (80.5km).
So, the question remains: can two doctors and three nurses handle the medical emergencies of an entire LGA?
More agonies, lamentations
A man recounts the death of his brother, Rasaq Shittu, with a vacant expression and solemn expression.
Rasaq had developed hypertension unexpectedly in October 2022 and was rushed to the Ibiade General Hospital, but there were no doctors available to treat him.
“My brother is a welder; he works in the evening, around 7 p.m.,” his brother explained. We had to rush him to the hospital that day because he became unresponsive. We rushed him to Ibiade General Hospital, but no doctors were available. He was on oxygen when the nurse referred us to Ijebu Ode General Hospital, which we had to rush him to. My brother gave up on us on the way.
“Although the matron of the hospital had attended to us well, if the doctors were around and he had gotten a quick medical response, my brother would have likely survived. The truth is that more doctors are needed to prevent incidents like this.”
Aside from a lack of manpower, our correspondent learned that some LGA residents had died as a result of traveling a long distance, sometimes by waterways, to reach the Ibiade General Hospital.
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Tayo Adeoti was about to give birth in July 2019 and was in pain, but the traditional doctors in the area were unable to help her at the time. Tayo had to be rushed to the Ibiade General Hospital, which was a three-hour drive from her home in Ode-Omi, and she died on the way.
Bashir, her husband, bemoaned the lack of well-equipped health centers to handle medical emergencies.
“My wife and child would be alive today if we had good health facilities and enough medical practitioners,” he said. We need to travel across the water to larger towns for better healthcare.”
Gbenga Osikale, an elderly man who had come to the Ibiade General Hospital for a checkup, approached our correspondent and lamented the hospital’s lack of manpower.
“This hospital has been around for a long time, but there aren’t enough workers,” he explained. We need more doctors and nurses because without them, there will be no one to treat the patients who are brought here.
“We beg the government to please provide us with enough doctors and nurses. There are more workers at the Abigi Medical Centre than here, which is not expected because this is a general hospital. We have filed numerous complaints, but nothing has been done.”
“Look at this now, many people are waiting,” Osikale told the Punch correspondent, pointing to the many patients waiting outside to see the doctor.
Our correspondent approached the doctor present at the hospital and inquired about the situation, but the doctor refused to comment.
Salami Misibau, a businessman in the Ibiade community, also told the correspondent that a lack of manpower and a quick response time had caused many community residents, particularly pregnant women, to consult traditional/herbal doctors, who were killing many of them.
“We have complained several times to the government, but nothing has changed. Because of this issue, many of our people visit Ile Alagbo (place of herbal medicine), but this has resulted in the deaths of some of our pregnant women,” he lamented.
“This is a town that has everything, we have a police post and over 10 private schools but it’s appalling that our only General Hospital lacks doctors. We need a doctor to live here so that we can respond faster and more effectively.
“When there are critical issues, these patients are being referred to Ijebu Ode general hospital, and it’s laughable because our hospital here is even bigger than that of Ijebu Ode. We have a shortage of doctors. Normally when a patient is taken to the hospital, regardless of the hour, there is supposed to be a doctor on the ground but this is not so here. Even nurses cannot carry out any operation without a doctor.
“If anything happens at midnight today before the doctor says he’s coming from Ijebu Ode to see the patient, something must have happened to the patient. In the same way, if a patient is directly transferred to Ijebu Ode for treatment, no matter how fast the car is, more than an hour will still be spent on the road. The person could die within this period.
“We need doctors. Right now, we have just two doctors. They come and go. The junior doctor comes on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday while the senior doctor comes only on Tuesday. What we need at the least, is for a doctor to sleep or rest, as they come on those days.
“The senior doctor who did an operation last Thursday only came by luck. That day there were two operations pending and at that time the senior doctor was just coming back from Ondo state when he decided to stop by the hospital, it was by stopping by that he was able to perform the two surgeries.
“If he didn’t stop by, they would have had to call the junior doctor from Ijebu Ode to come for the surgery and who knows what would have happened within that time. The junior doctor lives in Ijebu Ode.”
Ahmed Owoseni, an Iwopin resident, stated that the hospital was not functioning properly despite government renovations, and that many people had died as a result.
Attempts by the Punch correspondent to speak with the hospital’s Chief Medical Director, Dr. Oluwatosin Durojaye, were futile because he was not present on the day our correspondent visited the hospital and the hospital staff refused to provide his contact information to the correspondent.
Story Source: Punch