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OPINION : How UCTH killed my sister


By Augustine Ochelebe

It is an experience I would not want to recount, but I must say because many more have died afterwards and perhaps this may be a wakeup  call to save those on the death roll in the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital. 

Many people have one bitter experience or the other to share from their encounters with UCTH and there is no hope of any improvement soon. 

Only  the hospital environment has witnessed some improvement, nothing serious goes on inside that superstructure hosting the UCTH. 
Unfortunately, that is suppose to be the best hospital to serve our health needs within the state and its environs. 

My  elder sister, Regina Odey Akobi (nee Ochelebe) died in a similar circumstance in that very hospital in September 2019, due to  the criminal negligence of staff of that  hospital. 

After paying for blood to be transfused on my critically ill sister, there was no electricity to carry out the cross-matching by the Laboratory staff as we were told by the power house officials that the generator fuse was faulty and so the generator would not start. So my sister remained in her unconscious state for hours because of a fuse valued at about #200. 

After much pressure from the combined force of myself and other relatives of patients in similar desperate condition, the laboratory got the blood ready, but then, there was no Doctor on sight to carry out the blood transfusion as the nurses said it was not their duty to do so. 

While my sister laid dying,  the Doctor assigned to her was probably away in her private practice somewhere as she was no way to be found throughout the night and the following day. 

After several unsuccessful efforts to get the Doctor back  to her duty post, I had to engage a Doctor friend who works in the same hospital to assist in transfusing the blood into my sister whose case had deteriorated badly. 

Then to worsen matter and hastenly conclude my sister's case, an overzealous Nurse disconnected the oxygen that was sustaining my sister from her and connected it to a less critical patient. 

When the Nurse could not withstand the attack on her, for such wicked, unprofessional conduct, she reconnected  the oxygen on my sister but she had already concluded the devil's assignment as my sister gave up the ghost shortly afterwards and was quickly rolled to the mortuary by staff who were on standby for that purpose. That is the only section  of the hospital that functions effectively, I mean the mortuary. 

For  the five days that I stayed with my sister at the Emergency Ward of the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, I witnessed the height of negligence and unprofessional behaviours.  So many patients, like my beloved sister were sent to their untimely graves because the officials refused to do their jobs.

Critically ill patients laid in the dark, unattended to because there was no standby power supply and there was no water supply in the wards. 

There were no Doctors to attend to patients and the Nurses slept snoring in their comfort  zone while patients died surrounded by their helpless relatives. 

The Doctors  seem to have forgotten the hypocritical oath they took and human lives means nothing to them.  

Florence Nightingale would weep in her grave to see how the Nursing profession has been bastardised in UCTH. It appears the Nurses and Doctors in that hospital got promoted for every patient that dies in their custody, and they are merely working hard to earn their promotion.

 When I took my sister away for burial, I cried out loud for my God to visit vengeance upon the Hospital Management for it's zero supervision on its staff and for every staff whose ineptitude resulted in the untimely death of my beloved sister, may her Creator question them.  

May the soul of my dear sister, Regina Odey Akobi (nee Ochelebe) and the thousands others that were killed by Doctors and Nurses of the UCTH rest in peace and may God avenge their deaths on earth and beyond,  amen.
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