Emmanuel Nyong, a 19-year-old 200-level Banking and Finance student at Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Edo State, died as a result of the alleged poor service of two private hospitals in the state, Eseohe Medical Centre and Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital, according to his family and friends.
On April 5, 2021, Emmanuel, a sickle cell fighter, apparently had a crisis and was transported to the medical center by one Salvation Erorofioma, whom he shared a hostel with outside the school.
On Sunday NEWS DIRECT learnt that one Bayo Temple, believed to be a doctor at the private hospital, requested a deposit of N28,000 before attending Emmanuel.
It was gathered that Emmanuel was referred to ISTH around 7pm after his condition deteriorated but was reportedly rejected on the grounds that there was no notification from the private hospital.
Emmanuel was said to have been taken to another private hospital in Ekpoma where he was confirmed dead on arrival.
Erorofioma, a 400-level Accounting student, told the Newsmen that they expressed fear ISTH would reject Emmanuel because of the ongoing resident doctors’ strike at the time but Temple, later identified as a 300-level student at the university, assured them that the hospital had been contacted and would accept him.
Narrating events that led to Emmanuel’s death, Erorofioma said the teenager would have been taken to a nearby hospital if Temple had not insisted on ISTH.
He said, “Around 5am that day, he was shivering and asked me to take him to a hospital. I took him to Eseohe Medical Centre. When we got there, they asked us to get a card before they could attend to him. I met with a ‘doctor’ called Bayo (Temple) who said Emmanuel would be admitted. I later found out that he is an IT student at the hospital. I learnt he is a 300-level Microbiology student.
“He asked us to deposit N28,000 before they could commence treatment. After the payment, they took him into a ward. I asked a doctor if Emmanuel was responding to treatment and he said yes.”
He added that some hours after he returned home to rest, he got a call from Emmanuel’s sister, Esther Nyong, that he needed blood transfusion, adding that they quickly raised N30,000 and paid the hospital.
Erorofioma said trouble started when a 200-level Anatomy student at the same institution admitted in the same ward as Emmanuel died.
He said their complaints to the health workers to evacuate the student’s corpse so Emmanuel, who was already aware of the incident, would not develop shock, initially fell on deaf ears.
He stated, “They later took Emmanuel to another room and asked us to buy diapers and some other items. When we came back, Temple told us to look for a car that would take him to Irrua Specialist Hospital. That was around 7pm.
“We told him ISTH was on strike but he assured us not to worry. He said consultants at the hospital were not on strike and that one of them had already been contacted about Emmanuel’s case. But when we got there, they didn’t attend to him, saying they did not receive any call from Eseohe Medical Centre.
We then took him to Eromosele Medical Centre in Ekpoma but he died on arrival. Eromosele was close to Eseohe Medical Centre. If the Temple had not assured us that ISTH would attend to him, we would have taken him to Eromosele which is close by and he might have survived. When we returned to Eseohe to tell them that ISH said they didn’t get any calls, we met armed policemen there and they didn’t allow us to enter.”
The deceased’s elder sister, Esther, a 200-level English and Literary Studies student at the university, said she gave Emmanuel food and he was in a stable condition until some nurses asked her and his friends to leave the ward in the afternoon.
She said, “They rushed in another patient, a 200-level student, and we felt that was the real reason they asked us to leave. After a while, a nurse said my brother needed two pints of blood and that one is N15,000. We raised the money within 20 minutes and they asked us to pay for one pint first.
“They started giving him the blood around 3pm. Around 6pm, I was told to pay for another pint of blood whereas he had not been given half of the first one. I paid in order not to appear too smart.
“Shortly after, the student in my brother’s ward died. We asked them to take his corpse out because the shock could affect Emmanuel. We protested but they didn’t listen to us on time. By the time they moved him to another award, he was already weak. He could no longer walk whereas he walked into the hospital in the morning. He was relatively fine in the afternoon but his eyes were yellow.”
Esther also said Temple referred Emmanuel to ISTH despite being reminded that doctors were on strike then, maintaining that his death could have been prevented.
She added, “Our parents are trying to be strong. We want justice to be served because if Bayo (Temple) had allowed us to take him to any hospital of our choice, his life could have been saved.”