Ehanire petitioned over death of pregnant woman with unborn twins
A non-governmental organisation, Citizen’s Gavel, has petitioned the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, asking him to investigate the death of one Mrs. Josephine Odufowora with her unborn twins in Ogun State over alleged medical negligence.
In a petition titled, ‘The unfortunate and avoidable demise of Mrs. Josephine Olayemi Odufowora: A call for investigation and reform,’ which was made available to PUNCH HealthWise, the NGO urged the minister to investigate Federal Medical Centre, Abeokuta, over her death.
Recall that PUNCH HealthWise had, on June 28, 2020, reported that Josephine passed away on June 16, 2020 with her unborn twins, allegedly due to negligence of health workers at federal and government hospitals in Ogun State.
In the petition signed by the Citizen’s Gavel Legal Associate, Oluwaseyi Arowosebe, the NGO said it wrote to the minister on behalf of Mr. Babajide Olayemi, father of the deceased, and had also copied the Chief Medical Director, FMC Abeokuta.
The NGO drew attention to a statement written by one Segun Orisajo, the public relations officer for the Medical Director of FMC, Abeokuta, wherein he claimed that “the deceased discharged herself contrary to medical advice.”
“We know that Josephine cannot return to life. But the lives of many others can be saved from preventable deaths. We seek redress and justice.
“The attention of the complainant and that of the deceased was, however, drawn to a statement written by one Segun Orisajo, the PRO for the Medical Director of the said FMC, Abeokuta, wherein he claimed that ‘the deceased discharged herself contrary to medical advice’
“We state categorically that the above are blatant and deliberate lies purportedly to cover up the gross negligence of the staff of the hospital.
“The complainant and the family decided to move the deceased to a private hospital only after she was not attended to for days even after spending huge sums on tests.
“In fact, the drugs prescribed for her were left unadministered by doctors and nurses at FMC, Abeokuta.
“Sir, the unfortunate and highly avoidable incident highlighted above has once again brought the inadequacies of the health sector in the country to the forefront.
“Through a careful perusal of the occurrence above, we believe that the death of Mrs. Josephine Odufowora would have been avoided if prompt and adequate attention and medical resources were made accessible to her at FMC, Abeokuta.
“This incident has greatly highlighted what an average citizen endures to access basic health care in Nigeria and what the pain and loss deficiencies in the sector bestow on the average Nigerian,” the NGO said.
It further noted, “We cannot continue to watch while Nigerians lose their lives at our hospitals and health centres due to the unavailability cum negligence of the few human resources and infrastructure in public health institutions. Something must be done, and now.
“Sequel to this, we humbly beseech you to use your offices to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of the deceased and ensure all culpable persons are held accountable.”
The NGO urged the minister to investigate the dire lack of resources at the federal medical centres across the country, with the view of improving and upgrading same.
This, according to Citizen’s Gavel, will forestall further loss of lives and improve the general wellbeing of Ogun State citizens and Nigerians in general.
“Every life is important and the pain of such an avoidable loss is most painful. We thus humbly hope for a positive response and action on this issue sir”, it added.