At about 3:06pm on Monday, a handful of parents gathered with their sick children at the Asiya Bayero Paediatric Hospital, Kano, each one of them pressed for attention from Doctors to check their wards.
But it was not until 3:50pm when the doctors on afternoon duty, who were supposed to resume at 2:00pm started to report for work. Anxious, worried and distressed due to the worsening condition of their children as a result of a very long wait, parents have to go through another discomfort of a prolonged queue for collecting hospital cards; a process which in itself is unbearably sluggish.
In one audio clip of this exclusive Investigation, the agonizing cry of the sick, and hapless children could be heard dominating the recording, as there was no doctor on ground to attend to them. Sources confirmed to Arewa Agenda that the habit of coming late is a routine for most doctors in this hospital as they do not report for work on time until 4:00pm in the case of afternoon duty – about 2hrs behind slated schedule. Among the array of sick children badly in need of urgent attention is 2-year old Sumayya Ishaq, who has been running high fever all day along with incessant cough; a condition Arewa Agenda learnt was diagnosed as Whooping Cough in one health Center and Pneumonia in another seperate Center.
Seeing Sumayya’s condition, a doctor on morning duty had earlier written a quick response to the emergency room for immediate attention, but she wasn’t seen until the doctors on afternoon duty arrived 2hrs behind schedule. Yet, a certain doctor, identified as Dr. Zaharadden wouldn’t give her necessary attention “due to lack of bed space for admission in the clinic.” He then pushed her parents to go to either Abdullahi Wasai Hospital (Nassarawa) or Sheikh Isyaka Rabiu Hospital, along Zoo Road. But this was the beginning of a rat race for Sumayya’s parents who couldn’t afford the NGN20,000 at NGN5,000 per night; they were charged for four days at the Nasarawa Hospital, despite being owned by the government.
They then opted for the Zoo Road option, but their hopes were dashed when they were confronted with the fact that there was no available bedspace to admit little Summaya there, as well. It was already 7:40pm and in a fit of desperation for the baby’s survival, Summaya’s parents took her to Marmara Hospital, another arm of the Asiya Bayero Paediatric Hospital. There, there was no doctor on duty; only a Nurse who confirmed that there are about 15 available bed spaces, but there is need for clearance from Dr. Zaharadden first.
The Nurse assured that Sumayya will be attended to immediately they can get the doctor to sign a clearance for the admission. By 8:00pm, the distressed parents were back to Asiya Bayero Paediatric Hospital, but the old man at the emergency room would not allow access to Dr. Zaharadden until after so many pleas.
But the defiant Dr. Zaharadden would not sign the clearance, insisting that patient be taken to the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, AKTH. Reminded of the Nurse’s readiness to assist little Sumayya with only a clearance for admission needed from him, Dr. Zaharadden reacted, “get out of my sight, I won’t sign for her!” Feeling hopeless with the baby’s worsening condition, they pleaded and cried for the doctors intervention, but he kept insisting, “I won’t attend to you, go away.” It was under this situation that one of the patients occupying a bed space was discharged, yet Sumayya was not offered the available space. Sources within the hospital told Arewa Agenda that the reason Dr. Zaharadden will not approve Sumayya’s admission at the Marmara Hospital was because it is still under his place of Primary Assignment – Asiya Bayero Paediatric Hospital – and it will still be his responsibility to check on her there.
The source then suggested that Sumayya be brought back the following day. However, ArewaAgenda cannot say if little Sumayya’s parents took her back to the hospital the following day. 103/1,000 Children Die at Birth in Kano Child mortality rate in Kano State still stands at 103/1000 live births and lack of proper health care, medical negligence, mistreatment by health workers and lack of orientation on the part of parents, are contributing factors to this indices. It is expected that the Kano State Government, Commissioner of Health, UNICEF and other critical stakeholders, will intervene in tackling such mistreatment in the State, so that a universal health coverage for all will be guaranteed. Arewa Agenda is a Publication of young writers from Northern Nigeria towards Peaceful Coexistence and National Development through positive narratives. By PRNigeria