Former aviation minister Osita Chidoka has berated public health facilities in Nigeria following the death of his in-law, Apost Paul Egbon, 56.
Egbon married Chidoka’s only sister, and died Friday at Federal Medical Centre, Jabi, Abuja, due to procedural errors.
Chidoka wrote: “Today death visited. My brother-in-law Apost Paul Egbon, husband of my only sister, Ada Chidoka Egbon, died at age 56.
“Yesterday, he was at the Federal Medical Centre, Jabi, with a complaint of chest pain. The doctor who saw him prescribed painkillers and recommended ECG and other tests. At the Lab, they said it was late in the day and asked them to come back today, Saturday.
“He walked to the car and they drove home. Allowing him to go home was a questionable decision.
“Early hours of this morning, about 5am, he suffered, what we suspect, to be a cardiac arrest. My sister rushed him to the same Federal Medical Centre, Jabi. A doctor came out, saw him in the car, and pronounced him dead.
“They gave her a form and told her to take him to the mortuary. Yes, you read right. They told a grieving woman, who was told without any preparation, to take her dead husband to the morgue.
“They did not remove the corpse from the car. Apparently, there is no protocol to receive a patient brought in dead. She was in the car with her dead husband when my uncle, a medical doctor, arrived. I arrived shortly after. She was in the car crying, holding her husband in the car park of the hospital. A hospital they have used for years.
“We struggled to get her out of the car before we moved the corpse to the morgue. The hospital did not receive the body formally. No attempt at separating a wife from a corpse. No official record of the review that pronounced him dead.
“They did not counsel her or even empathise with her. It was not a medical failure; wrong diagnosis or lack of treatment. It was a process and cultural failure. Something has gone wrong with our humanity and sense of empathy as a people.
“I advise, go for regular medical checkups. Have a primary health physician who knows you personally and has your history. Your primary physician is likely to be the difference between life and death. Our institutions are weak and our public servants are neither public-minded nor interested in service.
“Together with the departed, we pray for God’s mercy and love upon us all. Amen.”
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