Tragedy struck at the Kogi State Specialist Hospital (KSSH) in Lokoja yesterday, as members of staff were confronted with the death of Head, Department of Internal Medicine, Dr. Chukwudibe Rosemary.
There was confusion as another doctor, Idris Nuhu, three nurses and an attendant in the maternity ward slumped on hearing about Rosemary’s death.When The Guardian visited the facility, one of the nurses, a matron, was in critical condition while the others were receiving medical attention.
It was learnt that they had not been paid since February this year.The other staff who assisted in resuscitating the deceased doctor, said due to lack of an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and spanner to open the oxygen cylinder, their effort was in vain, adding there was no oxygen head and Adrenalin.They added that tests like H-Pylori could not be done for the patient, because the deceased had no money, as she did not receive her March salary when others were paid.
Some of the staff members confirmed that as a result of the shock of Rosemary’s sudden demise, about five other members of staff including a doctor, three nurses and one attendant collapsed at the maternity ward where the doctor worked.They ascribed her death to the non-payment of salary as her name was omitted on the list of the March salary, saying her situation was so bad that some of the tests such as Pylori were not ran on her because she said she had no money to pay.
Secretary, Association of Resident Doctors (ARD) at the hospital, Dr. Moses Adaudi, who confirmed the incident, said Rosemary’s death resulted from lack of ICU it the hospital where she could have been treated when she developed complications.He, therefore, urged the state government to make the welfare of civil servants a priority.
Nurses told The Guardian that Dr. Rosemary was a well loved, thoroughbred professional, whose death had created a vacuum that would be difficult to fill.A source said the three nurses have been on duty since Saturday morning and have been exhausted due to severe work, which had increased in the last two months due to the Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU)’s strike.
“She died as a result of lack of money to buy her drugs as she was not paid March salary when others were paid last Thursday and for somebody who has not been paid since February and have been missing her drugs, it will not be difficult to understand the complications that set in at night,” they said.They also lamented that the condition of service was appalling, as one nurse attended to over 30 patients against the international standard of one nurse to four patients.
When contacted, the Chief Medical Director (CMD), Dr. Ehalaye, confirmed the incident but said the management was on top of the situation.The staff charged the state government to complete the installation of equipment for the diagnostic centre, which building had been completed.Chairman of the National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), Olamaboro Local Council, Godwin Sule, also slumped and died recently while making a phone call.