University Of Ibadan Clinic Not Living Up To Expectation, Say Students

UI-studentTHE tragic and unfortunate death of Oluchi Anekwe, a 300 Level Accounting student of the University of Lagos (UNILAG) recently has again brought to the fore the importance and usefulness of Campus clinics and health centres. Oluchi met an untimely death when high-tension cable gave way and fell on her, which eventually led to her demise.

The university students protested the next day, blaming the campus clinic health personnel for her death. They alleged that Oluchi was not quickly attended to, instead the health officer on duty was requesting to see her clinic card first before commencing treatment.

Sadly, this is not the first nor might it be the last that such unfortunate incidence has or might occur in tertiary institution’s medical centres.

In May of this year, a 200 Level University of Ibadan student, Mayowa Alaran suddenly collapsed while watching a football match between Barcelona and Bayern Munich at the common room, popularly called the Junior Common Room (JCR), at his hall of residence, the Independence ‘Indy’ Hall. Mayowa was a student of Human Kinetics, Faculty of Education before his death.

According to his fellow hall residents that spoke to The Guardian, the JCR was over crowded as usual and there was only one fan in the front of the room, but it was not rotating. Even if it were rotating, there was little it could do amidst the number of students that were present in the room that night.

When a student raised the alarm that Mayowa was not responding, some medical students that were present tried to perform mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Upon seeing that he was non-responsive, the students called for the clinic’s ambulance, which according to some students, did not arrive early. When he eventually arrived at the clinic, he was pronounced dead.

This angered the students who took to the streets to protest their colleagues’ death the following day and the university was consequently shut down. According to them, Mayowa might have survived if he was attended to promptly. They also alleged that this wasn’t the first time that a student met an untimely death from the hospital’s lackadaisical attitude and gross negligence of duty. They maintained that the health officers that were on duty that night were requesting for his ‘Jaja card’ instead of attending to him immediately. This was however refuted by some other students who spoke under the condition of anonymity. They insist that he was already dead long before the ambulance was called for, as some medical students were attempting to revive him instead of calling the hospital first. When they realised that they were way out of their league, that was when the hospital was called and asked to send an ambulance.

Mayowa Alaran has been buried but what has the university health centre done since then to prevent such incidence from re-occurring? A cross section of students spoke to The Guardian agreed on a couple of things. First, the ratio of medical personnel to the student population is woeful and dismal. The students far outnumber the doctors such that when a student goes to the clinic, he has to wait between two to four hours before seeing a doctor.

Biola (Surname withheld), a 200 level student said he visited the clinic a few weeks ago complaining of severe stomach cramps. He waited over four hours before a doctor attended to him. “I met a long queue when I got there and even though I told them I couldn’t sit nor walk and I was in obvious pain, they asked me to wait my turn. If that is how people died, I would have died ‘waiting for my turn’ and they will pronounce me dead on arrival,” he said.

The students also accused the clinic management of failing to respond to emergencies and alleged that the nurses were very rude and brusque. They claim that they do not take medical issues seriously until the matter was at a critical level. They further accused the medical personnel of insensitivity and ‘I don’t care’ attitude.

Drugs at the pharmacy are free to students with the school’s identity as well as Jaja Card but the students claim that they hardly get necessary drugs there. Most of the time they say, they usually have just paracetamol, Vitamin C, B complex tablets and other simple drugs. For anything more serious, you would have to go buy yourself they claim.

However, some students fall on the other side of the divide. They say that the clinic has changed after Mayowa died. Now, if you go there to complain of headache, you are immediately asked to run medical tests to ascertain if there are other underlying medical issues. Some even claim that the hospital has become over zealous, admitting students and administering drips for the slightest of illnesses.

They however agree that the clinic is still very useful and important but needs to be upgraded and improved. They want more medical personnel.

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