By DESERT HERALD
After receiving series of credible complaints from helpless patients that became victims of unbridled corruption and insensitivity at the hitherto famous Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital at SHIKA in Kaduna State, DESERT HERALD has today (2nd September, 2018) visited the fast decaying Teaching Hospital. Our findings reveal how corruption is being elevated and tolerated at the highest level at the expense of human lives.
Even as one approaches the main gate of ABUTH there are visible signs of corruption and poor management that should have prompted the Federal Ministry of Health or indeed the federal government to immediately sack the Cheif Medical Director of the Hospital, Prof. Khalid Aliyu and his entire management. The signboard that supposedly carried the name of the hospital and as a guide to new comers or to even passers by is virtually unreadable because many characters due to years of neglect and lack of maintainers culture have removed thereby making the few available characters unreadable. There is nothing to show that ABUTH is a serious health institution even on entrance and it gives one a clear picture of what to expect including its services inside.
As soon as one enters the premises of the hospital and despite the short distance, potholes have consumed the entire road. There is no visible commitment to even rehabilitate the potholes not to talk of reconstructing the less than five kilometres of road. As a supposed comprehensive health centre and a Teaching Hospital, ABUTH due to gross ineptitude and official negligence has been consumed by grasses while the dirty nature of the outside environment tells one how insensitive the management of the hospital are. On entering, and precisely few metres to the sensitive Accident and Emergency Unit, the crew of DESERT HERALD as a testimony to the claims of patients was welcomed by hedsmen, feeding their cows with the uncut grasses. How the hedsmen and their cows managed to enter a hospital surrounded by fence with securities that are supposedly working is perhaps an answer that can be best provided by Prof. Aliyu and his team.
The poor hygiene and how patients and their relatives are being treated even at the sensitive Accident and Emergency Unit is an indictment to the handlers and managers of the hospital. Patients that sustained life threatening injuries due to accident and whose relatives are not immediately known if they are lucky will receive only first aid treatment which is not a guarantee for their survival. They mostly die due to complications because no matter the gravity of the illness tests like scanning, blood samples, x-ray, city scan etc that will urgently guide doctors to safe lives are not being provided even if to subject the patients to pay back later. Cases that requires emergency surgery under such circumstance and even if it’s the last option for the patient to survive are not being attended to in Prof. Aliyu’s ABUTH.
A particular case is that of one Abdulra’ub Dahiru. He had a ghastly car accident along Zaria road. He was rushed to ABUTH on time by the police. He had serious head injury and was unconscious throughout. But because well wishers and the police were not able to contact his relatives on time, doctors at the Emergency Unit said there is nothing they can do. All pleas to make them carry the recommended city scan on him on credit since it was an emergency case was rejected. And it was too late before the police eventually got his parents. They came almost immediately from Kaduna and precisely over 40 hours after the accident. Abdulra’ub died while his father was at the payment counter to pay for the city scan that could have help in no small measure. Such cases are many in today’s ABUTH.
This paper has also recorded several cases of what relatives regarded as preventable deaths of their loved ones due to either above reasons, lack of proper attention by Doctors and Nurses at ABUTH, poor condition of the hospital and increasing inability to take prompt decisions on emergency cases.
The sanitary conditions at both the Accident and Emergency Unit, at the Admissions Unit and the entire environment remains not only the most pathetic but beyond human comprehension. As it is and if what DESERT HERALD has seen is anything to go by, there is strong threat and likelihood for outbreaks of diseases mainly cholera and diarrhoea in the hospital. The poor sanitary condition of ABUTH, lack of proper attention and strong commitment by Doctors and Nurses according to many patients that spoke to this paper in a recorded audio has contributed immensely to their ailing health and has thus deteriorated their condition. The waste disposal which is very close to the admission unit is not only poorly maintained but very dirty and contained wastages that are harmful to both visitors and patients. Patients are left to devise means of protecting themselves from the rampaging mosquitoes due to poor hygiene. There is offensive smell almost everywhere in the hospital. Such offensive smell is more pronounced at the admission wards, the walk leading to the wards, at the highly contaminated dust bins which are opposite to the wards and around the toilets.
Findings by DESERT HERALD revealed that despite what the Prof. Aliyu’s led management is claiming to be spending as monthly expenditure and complains of gross underfunding, ABUTH and indeed all Federal Teaching Hospitals across Nigeria are receiving substantial grant reasonable enough to execute projects and maintain existing structures at the hospitals. Our findings also confirmed that with such grants and judicious use of the hospitals Internally Generated Revenues, IGR, a lot of Teaching Hospitals have transformed very well over the years. Such Teaching Hospitals and unlike the situation at ABUTH have maintained highest standards of hygiene and maintainers culture. Some of this Teaching Hospitals which were recently visited by DESERT HERALD includes Usman Danfodio University Teaching Hospital, UDUTH, Sokoto, University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital, UMTH, Malam Aminu Kano University Teaching Hospital, MAKTH. The environment of all the hospitals is not only patients friendly but demonstrates that there is responsible management on ground.
Even with an increasing IGR which are not being accounted for or with expenses that are not commensurate with what is on the ground coupled with the continuous flow of government’s allocation to ABUTH, insiders at hospital that pleaded not to be mentioned said the hospital under Prof. Khalid Aliyu continues to provide the worse of services and worse still, putting the lives of many in danger while many more have lost their lives due to alleged corruption and clear cases of negligence often unchecked by the supervising authorities that supposed to ensure that the likes of CMD Aliyu perform or they be shown the way out.
Concerned patients and relatives interviewed by this paper have call on the federal government to as a matter of urgency institute independent investigations at ABUTH, to send spies if possible to assess and ascertain the condition of the hospital and to discuss with former and current patients. They said “the sacking of the Prof. Khalid led management should not be only immediate but they should be investigated and be prosecuted for gross none performance, corruption, official neglect of sensitive government facilities that causes the deaths of many”.
….To be continued