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Violent Protests Rock UBTH Over Death Of UNIBEN Student

From Ignatius Okpara, Benin

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Academic and social activities were on Thursday crippled at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) Edo state, South South Nigeria, as students of the institution staged a violent protest over the death of their colleague, a 300 level student whom they alleged  died in the hospital as a result of negligence.

The development  which caused  heavy traffic jam along the Ugbowo Benin Lagos  road where both the University of Benin, UNIBEN) and UBTH are located however, led to the shutting down of the hospital by its management for fear of uncertainty.

African Examiner reports that the aggrieved students who began the protest from the main gate of UNIBEN, had blocked entrance to the hospital, an action that created serious problem for motorists, staff, and patients going to the tertiary medical facility for treatment.

The deceased, identified as Jerald Chibuike, of the Department of Philosophy and Religion was said to have died shortly after being brought to the Hospital.

According to them, the death of the late student was avoidable, insisting that he died as a result of  negligence by the hospital staff.

Speaking to newsmen, leader of the protesters who identified himself as Agbolahor Manassehon said our “colleague died because of negligence on the part of the hospital management.

“When he was brought in after complaining of fever, we took him to the Accident and Emergency Department around 8pm last night and met some doctors at work.

“They told us that they could barely help because they did not have Adrenaline and intravenous. We were given prescriptions to go and get the medications.‎

“We searched for the drugs but because it was night we could not get them on time, by the time we could get the recommended materials, we were informed he had passed on.

“It is worrying that his death which was very avoidable was caused by issues as embarrassing as a hospital

like UBTH not having syringes and needles.

“It has become a common practice in the UBTH for doctors to demand from the patients before obliging them medical services due to non availability of basic medical facilities.”

The leader of the protesting students equally alleged that the continued industrial disharmony in the institution had affected the quality of health care delivery as doctors, nurses and other health workers always exhibited nonchalant attitude due to poor welfare.‎

The students therefore, called on authorities  of the hospital to improve on the relationship with the workers in the hospital so as to  improve the quality of health care services given to the public.

The protest came after several warnings from doctors at the hospital over  poor conditions in the hospital which has made it impossible for them  to function optimally Doctors in the hospital  had listed some of the problems to include lack of materials, decaying infrastructure and what they termed management irresponsibility.

It would be recalled  that In March this year, the Association of Resident Doctors, (ARD) UBTH branch declared a State of Emergency at the hospital due to the acute decay of administration procedures and state of equipment in the hospital.

Meanwhile, the hospital management has refused to confirmed nor denied the death of the  student.

But Chairman of the Medical Advisory Committee of UBTH Dr. Casmir Omuemi said the hospital had always been up and doing in the discharge of service to the public.

“I cannot confirm or deny the allegation that a  student died in the hospital,  but  I can say that the relationship between the hospital management and the UNIBEN has been very cordial.

 

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