UNIPORT students close down UPTH in protest of colleague’s death

PHOTO: The late Kel

PHOTO: The late Kel

UNIVERSITY of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT) students yesterday barricaded the entrance gates of the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH) in protest over the death of their colleague, popularly called Miss Kel, who they alleged was denied treatment by the hospital’s management.

The angry students also chased away doctors and nurses from the hospital, thereby halting access to the health facility.

The protesting students numbering over 100 decried the lackadaisical attitude of nurses and doctors towards students, especially during emergency situations.

One of the students, Ngozi Nduka, disclosed that, “our colleague, a final year female student of Theatre Arts died because the management refused to admit her into the hospital with the excuse that there was no bed space.”

She regretted that the student later died in a private hospital in town, thus blaming UPTH management over the sudden death.

Nduka lamented that the negligent attitude of the hospital management towards UNIPORT students has become unbearable, lamenting that over 20 of the university’s students have died in UPTH as a result of their negligence.

She said: “Most of our students have been dying out of negligence by the management of UPTH. We the students are their nearest neighbours but it is disheartening the level of neglect on us, their staffs hardly attend to students even if it is an emergency situation.”

“The recent of the deaths is this one, a female final year student of Theatre Arts who died on Sunday night in UPTH after doctors and nurses in the hospital allegedly refused to attend to her.”

The students also barricaded the East-West Road during the violent protest and the situation grounded business activities in the area and also halted vehicular movement.

Speaking also, another student who identified himself as Michael said: “Students die on a daily basis due to carelessness on the side of the doctors and nurses serving in UPTH.”

He regretted that even after the school’s management collected medical fees from students, the university and hospital still do not care about the health of the students of the institution.

He, therefore, called for a review of the relationship between UPTH and UNIPORT to enable the students know their stand when critical health issues occur.

One of the leaders of the protest, Miss Judith Oyila, a final year student of Theatre Arts said: “We are angry because we have lost another of our students again in UPTH, a 200 level student of Theatre Arts.”

“She died because of neglect by the doctors and nurses in that hospital. How could it be that a student slumped and students rushed her to UPTH but the doctors left her for over six hours without treatment and the poor girl died?” she queried.

“We want the world to hear the injustice that we are facing here even in the hands of the doctors in our institution’s hospital. The doctors abandoned her without treatment.”

“They gave excuses that are not worth it: saying no bed to keep her, no fuel and no ambulance until she died. The doctors forgot that we pay for health.”

“We want the government to sanction the school and UPTH for this, as well compel them to do a review of their policies as it concerns students’ health.”

Meanwhile, the development has hampered activities in the hospital, resulting in the relocation of some of the patients at the emergency ward to other hospitals.

Some of the patients in the wards have expressed fear that the development may result to strike action by the UPTH doctors.

They call on the government and security agencies to wade into the situation to bring the issue under control.

When contacted, the Public Relations Officer of the University of Port Harcourt, Mr. Obinna Wodi, said he was not disposed to make any comments until the school authority meets with the Students’ Union Government.

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